Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Snap! Crackle! Pop! It's Christmas!

According to the SuperCat, the favorite food of pink ponies everywhere is Rice Krispie Treats. And since she has a stable full of pink ponies, she asked me to make some.
You know. For the ponies.

How could anyone say no to that kind of request?

For me, hot dogs and watermelon slices are the Fourth of July. Jiffy Pop popcorn is what we had on the nights we had a babysitter. Caramel corn and orange cream filled chocolates will always be Halloween. And Rice Krispies Treats and Divinity Fudge are Christmas.

Rice Krispies Treats remind me of Christmas at my aunt and uncle's house, where we'd go after we'd visited my grandparents on the other side of the family on Christmas Eve. People don't seem to talk the way they did when I was a kid; I recall my mother, aunts and grandmother sitting in the kitchen during the holidays, smoking, picking at food, and sharing bits of information sotto voce, so the children wouldn't hear. I would often sit quietly and read; if I sat quietly enough, they'd eventually forget I was in the room and you'd hear the good stuff about anyone who happened to not be there at the moment, about people you may not have known, but who seemed to lead scandalous lives. Days of Our Lives had nothing on my family.

I no longer have a large family; I live far, far away from most everyone I knew back then. The family I do have doesn't sit around and chat that way, but I still make certain dishes to remind myself of earlier times and to help create memories for my own children.

Before I stopped eating wheat, if I wanted to make Rice Krispies Treats, I bought a box of Rice Krispies, and followed the directions on the back of the box. Ten minutes or so later, I'd have a pan of hot treats, and the hardest part would be waiting for them to cool.

Now it's not quite so easy. Rice Krispies contain gluten in the form of barley malt, which is a natural flavoring.

So, I go to the health food store and get Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice Cereal(^). It's sort of expensive, but tastes good. It's nutty versus the blander taste of Rice Krispies, but I like it, which is surprising. I'm not really a brown rice sort of person - I can remember eating whole wheat bread for the first time when I was maybe 10 or so and thinking that it was terribly exotic, by which I mean it was terrible, period. I'm still pretty much convinced that a mayonaiise and tomato sandwich on whole wheat may be illegal. It's certainly immoral. I really disliked whole wheat then and even now, whole grains bring to mind the lady that lived next door when I was little. She watched Jack Lalanne(^) every morning, did calisthenics in a black leotard, and earnestly gave the neighborhood kids ice cream served with toasted soy nuts on top in an attempt to make it healthy.

Of course, regardless of my feelings, my own children don't know any better; refined white bread has never been an option in their lives. It's been whole multi-grain bread or bust.

Bu back to the sugary sweets at hand: here is the original recipe for Rice Krispies from Kellogg's website,^)
Kellogg's Rice Krispies
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 package (10 oz., about 40) regular marshmallows
  • - OR -
  • 4 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 6 cups Rice Krispies®
Click on the website link above for directions.

If you simply substitute the Erewhon for the Kellogg's, it doesn't turn out quite right; it'll be dry and crunchy, not moist and chewy, so I change the recipe a bit. Here's mine:
Brown Rice Marshmallow Treats
  • 5 ½ cups of gluten free brown rice cereal (Erewhon is my favorite, but there are others)
  • 40 regular-sized marshmallows I have never seen marshmallows that have gluten in them, but anything is possible, so it's always a good idea to check.
  • 2 tsp vanilla Vanilla is normally gluten-free since the alcohol base is distilled, not brewed.
  • 4 tbsp (½ stick) butter I don't use margarine, but if you do, it works just fine. The only thing that doesn't seem to work is the diet margarines and spreads.
  1. Melt butter over medium-low heat in large skillet.
  2. Once melted, add marshmallows and stir occasionally until melted.
  3. When the marshmallows have melted, add vanilla.
  4. Stir briefly, then add rice cereal.
  5. Stir until coated with spatula.
  6. Turn out into a buttered pan, or onto a Silpat. If a Silpat is used, use the spatula to mold into desired shape.

    On the Silpat, a silicon embedded baking mat that pretty much nothing sticks to.

  7. Once cool, cut into whatever shape you like, or if you'd prefer, once it is cooled a bit, press into molds using cookie cutters or sushi molds.

    This is a flower-shaped sushi mold.
    Cookie cutters work fine if you don't have one of these.

    After they've been molded.

    The completed treats, minus the ones that were eaten when they were still warm and gooey.
  8. Enjoy!

    He's happy to be a guinea pig for once.


    The smile makes it all worthwhile (not that marshmallow treats are super difficult or anything).

And that's it. Allez Cuisine!

I found this today, from the fine folks at Quick Stop Entertainment(^), and the staggering talents who create The Venture Bros(^)., Henchmen 21 & 24 singing Paul McCartney's Wonderful Christmastime(^). Links to songs from previous years can be found here.

I can hear sleigh bells in the distance, so I'd better close for now and rush my gluten-free cookies and a glass of milk to the hearth for Santa.

Until later, have the Merriest of Christmases!


Current Mood: Photobucket festive

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