Friday, May 24, 2013

K's Cereal Bars: A Chocolate-Chip, Boo-Berry and Chicharrones Rice Krispies Treat

If you have been reading along here, you know that K and I are often at 4505 Meats, both the butcher shop, located a convenient two blocks from her school, or the Saturday farmers market stand. Because she remains stubbornly picky, K's orders there tend to be as plain as possible: dry fries, burgers without toppings, and hot dogs with just a bun. Ketchup is acceptable, and indeed essential, for fry dipping, but even cheese on the burger is too much.

So it was to my surprise one day that she asked to try their Cereal Bar. A Rice Krispies treat modified with the addition of other kinds of cereals and their too-spicy-for-K-chicharrones, the cereal bar was a surprise hit. As a big fan of sweet and salty in combination, I loved it. But K was slightly more hesitant "It is kind of spicy." On her second bite: "But I like it! Can I have the rest of it?" 

And indeed, like it she did, enough that she would request it whenever she saw it at the stand/shop. But then, it disappeared. Months passed by and K kept hoping it would return. If you have or know children, you will understand that by hoping, I mean, asking and complaining. It was after one last grumbling that I suggested there could be a way around this, perhaps she could make her own. Sure enough she jumped at the idea.

Attempt one
Her first attempt came Mother's Day weekend. She gathered her ingredients: Rice Krispies, mini-marshmallows, butter, chicharrones and the box of Boo-Berry I had purchased months earlier but not opened. She melted, crushed, stirred and pressed the ingredients into a pan to cool. As soon as they were even somewhat close to cool, we cut into them and tasted. K: "I like these." Me: "They need more chicharrones." K: "I knew you would say that." She even dropped a few by the butcher shop, perhaps in the hope that they would start making their own again. 

Having successfully made them once, she decided it was time to be a bit more creative. Why not add something else to the mix? Her choice: semi-sweet chocolate chips. She also added quite a few more chicharrones, to humor her mother. So she crushed and melted and mixed and pressed and waited. We cut in and tasted. This time we were both thrilled.

Attempt two


Close up

K's Cereal Bars, inspired by 4505 Meats

3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, plus an additional Tablespoon to butter your pan
1 package mini-marshmallows (10 oz)
1 bag of chicharrones crushed (2 cups) (Keep a few larger pieces for texture)
1/2 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 generous cup Boo-Berry or other flavored cereal
3 cups Rice Krispies

Butter a large baking dish and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine your crushed chicharrones, chocolate chips, Boo-Berry and Rice Krispies. 
In a saucepan over low heat, melt the 3 Tablespoons of butter. Once melted, stir in the marshmallows and continue stirring until melted. Once melted, add to your cereal mixture and stir well. Press this mixture into your baking pan and set aside until cool. Cut and eat.