If you know me at all, you know I'm not much of a cook. I do my best to make dinner during the week, but am relieved to hand the reins over to my husband during the weekends. I do, however, enjoy dabbling in a bit of dessert making when the mood strikes me. I love rice crispy treats when I have a sweets craving, but want to make something simple. I always end up making the super simple recipe, which I love, but I thought it would be fun to try out some more "grown up" variations. Here's what I came up with.
Orange Scented Cherry Almond Treats
For each of these treats, I started out with the original rice crispy recipe. For each of these, I also cut the recipe in half so that I could make multiple types. You can do that, or make a full size batch when you find your favorite. What you'll need in addition to the items in the recipe:
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/3 cup slivered almonds
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon orange extract (or the zest of half an orange)
1/4 teaspoon salt
I started by following the original recipe up to the point where your marshmallows are almost completely melted. I then added the almond and orange extracts and salt. When I make this recipe in the future, I will definitely add in orange zest in place of the extract. The zest adds in a brightness that unfortunately cannot be duplicated by the extract.
While this was melting, I greased up a bowl (you can either use butter or oil, this will help reduce the amount of mixture that sticks to your bowl) and add in the rice crispies, cherries and almonds and mix them together. Once the marshmallow mixture is completely melted, pour it over the cereal and stir together until combined. Pour the mixture into a greased pan and cool.
Brown Sugar Maple Candied Bacon Treats
This one came to me mostly because I'm always trying to find ways to incorporate sweet and salty together. And, let's be honest, I love any excuse to add bacon to a recipe. I found this candied bacon recipe and that was it. My only regret, is that I didn't let the bacon get as crispy as I should have. That would've really sent these treats over the edge. Here's what you'll need in addition to the ingredients in the original recipe:
Your choice of thick cut bacon (I used 4 slices total)
1/3 cup good maple syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Follow the directions for the candied bacon. Wait until the bacon is completely cooled and cut in into small pieces before you mix in with the cereal. Add the salt to the marshmallow mixture before you pour into the greased bowl containing the cereal and bacon. Mix together and pour into a greased pan. Cool and enjoy!
Candied Ginger and Lemon Zest Treats
To be honest, I thought the bacon one would be my favorite. But this one hit it out of the park for me. I really wanted to figure out some way to incorporate ginger into one of my recipes, but I couldn't figure out how until it hit me. Candied ginger. With the addition of the lemon zest for the zingy brightness and the sweetness of the marshmallows - amazing. This one will be in heavy rotation for a while. What you'll need:
1/2 cup candied ginger cut into small squares
The zest of one medium lemon
1/4 teaspoon salt
Follow the directions of the original recipe and add the diced ginger into the greased bowl filled with cereal. While the marshmallow mixture is almost fully melted, fold in the lemon zest and salt and just stick your nose in there in and take it in. Ah. After it has fully melted, pour in the marshmallow lemon zest mixture into the bowl and mix together. Pour into the greased pan and allow to cool before enjoying.
If you have bits leftover, you can use for garnish. I think it makes the treats look so much prettier, especially if you are serving these to guests.
And if not, well, then just pour yourself a big glass of milk and enjoy your "grown up" treats.
If you end up making these, I would love to know what your favorite was. If you have any other interesting flavor combinations, let us know, we love experimenting :)