Salted Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats

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Rice Krispie Treats are one of those desserts that always sound good, but then when I finally have one I’m disappointed. I never grew up with them and only remember having my first one back in high school. It was tasty enough, but it just didn’t do it for me. It should have though, marshmallow coated puffed rice cereal has the makings of something good, but they tasted bland to me.

When I was searching for snacks to make for Caroline’s fifth birthday party I found a cute setup with rice krispie treats acting as hay bales. I loved the idea because it was cute, something easy to make, and typically a great snack for kids with an array of allergies. I set out to find a great recipe. I wanted something that didn’t stray from the classic, but upped the ante sort of speak. Honestly, I knew the kids would eat anything, but I wanted them to be delicious for the adults if they managed to get any. I didn’t want to serve boring, cardboard tasting treats. I can’t get down with that. So, I did some reading and I asked a lot of my fellow bloggers what they thought of this recipe from Smitten Kitchen. I was apprehensive with the fact that the recipe calls for double the butter. I’m all for butter usage, but not everyone else is and I also didn’t want to waste all of that butter if these were going to be mediocre. The feedback was all positive and I was urged to give these a try, I wouldn’t be sorry. I wasn’t and you wont be either!

These rice krispie treats are delicious. So delicious in fact, that you may eat the first batch, serve the second batch for its intended purpose, then make a third batch to enjoy as a family and take pictures. Then, maybe make a fourth batch because you can freeze them and they make an awesome snack when you need some indulgence. Just saying….

These taste just like the classic, but just as I wanted, they are just better. The browned butter does what it always does, making something ordinary into extraordinary. The extra butter, well it’s just good and the salt enhances the flavor perfectly. What you’re left with is a treat that everyone will recognize, but for some reason yours will just taste…better.

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Salted Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats

Ingredients

  • 4 oz unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • 1 10-oz bag marshmallows
  • Heaping 1/4 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 6 cups Rice Krispies cereal (about half of a 12-oz box)

Spray an 8-inch square pan with 2-inch sides with cooking spray.

In large pot, melt butter over medium-low heat. It will melt, then foam, then turn clear golden an finally start to turn brown and smell nutty. Stir frequentl, scarping up any bits from the bottom as you do. Don’t take your eyes off of the pot, as the butter will go from having color and “browned” to burned in less than a minute.

As soon as the butter turns a nutty color, turn off the heat and stir the marshmallows in. If the marshmallows haven’t become smooth from the residual heat turn the heat back on to a simmer and stir until smooth.

Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the salt and cereal. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Using a piece of wax paper is the easier and best way to press the cereal firmly into the corners and edges.

Let cool and cut into squares.

Yields 16 2-inch squares or 32 1×2-inch bars

Source: Smitten Kitchen

SiliBake Pastry Mat & $50 Visa Giveaway

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Every time I go to bake something that requires rolling dough out, I tend to stick the chore with my husband. While he dislikes doing it as well, he does the job because he wants the end result, be it pie, pizza, cookies, etc. Our problem isn’t with the rolling process, but with my pastry mat. The thing moves all over the place, curls up so I have to have something on ever corner and sometimes the sides to hold it down. Then as I am rolling the whole mat, and weights, move all over the place and I’ve just lost it at that point. I’ve been eyeing a pastry mat online for a while and put it on my wishlist but Santa didn’t come through. So, i kept muddling through. I’m not sure why. It’s not like this is a big ticket item. I guess I enjoyed the torture?

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Anyways, Caroline’s birthday was coming up and I had started in on my arduous task of making dozens upon dozens of cookies and rolling out lots of fondant. I got through a couple dozen and finally had had it. I ordered the SiliBake pastry mat and through the magic of Amazon I had it in hand two days later. When I unrolled the silicon pastry mat out of the box and it slid on to my counter top with ease it was like the clouds had parted and I heard angels sing. You’ll have to excuse me, I was really stressing out about all of those roll-out sugar cookies I was going to have to decorate! I used it a few times, washed it, stored it, and fell in love. Check out this great video for more information and to see it in action.

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I took my happiness to Facebook and I received lots of comments and questions. I had a few friends and fellow bloggers immediately order one once they heard how awesome it was. Then, I heard from a representative from SiliBake. I may have waxed poetic about their product, but we both agreed that everyone needs this pastry mat! So, they offered a wonderful discount (50% off on Amazon!) for my readers (which the detail can be found on my Facebook page and below) and we decided that a giveaway was in order. SiliBake is being very generous and is offering one lucky reader a SiliBake Pastry Mat and a $50 Visa gift card.That’s right, everyone can receive 50% off and one person gets a pastry mat for free and $50! Is this company awesome or what?

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They also sent me some of their awesome silicone baking cupcake liners and a larger pastry mat that is awesome for rolling out large pieces of fondant. I can’t say enough great things about these products. What I really loved was after I purchased the SiliBake pastry mat I realized that you can also freeze your cookies on it and then toss them in the oven. Talk about a multi-tasker! So, lets get to the details…

Check out the Rafflecopter widget below and complete as many of the options as you’d like to enter to win the SiliBake Pastry Mat and the $50 Visa gift card.

If you’d like to take advantage of the amazing offer SiliBake is giving to my readers, then go to Amazon and when checking out enter the code:SILIRG50 to receive 50% off of your pastry mat. This offer is good until Mother’s Day and would definitely make a great gift!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
  This prize is provided by SiliBake. This giveaway is for residents of the contingent United States and will end on April 27th, 12:00 pm EST. Physical address required for shipping; no PO boxes. You must be 18 years or older to enter. While I was given additional product after my original purchase, all opinions expressed are solely my own.

Fruity Popsicles

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Caroline’s birthday was last week so there were quite a few celebrations to prepare for. Now that she is in school I have to make treats for her classmates as well. I honestly love doing this, but as the day gets closer I start to dread that extra thing to do on my list. This year, she wanted to do fruit pops. I thought she meant fruit kebobs like another child did last year and I was game since it’s a healthier alternative to the usual cupcakes etc. She corrected me and once we were on the same page I was even happier about her choice.

These fruit pops are just so much fun. Who can resist? They are so visually stimulating with the fruit shining through. I love to use all different shapes, colors, and sizes to really draw the kids attention and get them excited about dessert. The best part for me was I could make these in advance and they only take about 20 minutes to prepare. So, the day of her school birthday celebration all I had to do was pack a cooler and go. I think I may buy a second popsicle mold and persuade her to do this again next year for Kindergarten!

The kids and teachers loved these healthy, fun popsicles. Even some of the children that don’t really care for fruit couldn’t resist them. So, whether you’re looking for a snack for yourselves, your kids, or something to bring in for a birthday celebration, you may want to think about these easy and beautiful fruity popsicles!

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Fruity Popsicles

Ingredients

  • 1 kiwi, sliced thinly
  • 1 starfruit, sliced thinly
  • 1 peach, sliced thinly
  • 6 strawberries, sliced thinly
  • 10 raspberries, sliced in half
  • 3/4 cup blueberries
  • 2 1/2 cups grape juice

*** Use any fruit you can find and enjoy. Don’t forget you can use frozen fruit as well! You can also use any juice you like. For the kids, I like grape juice or apple so that the fruit really shines through, but my daughter also loves pomegranate, fruit juice, and orange juice.

Add fruit to your popsicle molds, keeping in mind how you want your fruit to lay in the popsicle. I do a few big pieces on the bottom and top and scattered the smaller fruits in between. Push your fruits to the side and bottom of the molds so they really show.

Gently, pour juice into mold until you’ve reached the top of the mold and the fruit has been covered. Freeze overnight.

Yields 10 popsicles

Inspired by Martha Stewert

Magnolia Bakery’s Vanilla Cake

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My sweet Caroline has turned five and I’m dealing with all of those emotions as we come to the realization that she is no longer a baby, although always our baby, and will enter Kindergarten soon. I can’t believe the time has gone so fast. I feel like I was just announcing her birth to all of you!

This year, was extra busy since we had Easter the day after her birthday. So, I had to prepare fruit popsicles for her classmates on Friday, her birthday cake and a little brunch, and then Easter dessert! Don’t forget, we have the big party celebration next week. As always, I baked the cakes a couple of weeks beforehand to lighten the load. This year, I decided to try a new recipe since Caroline wanted a vanilla cake for her birthday and party and I wanted something that would compliment the sweetness of the fondant for her party cake. I was risking how this cake would turn out and how it would handle the freezing, but I decided to take the risk after hearing about this cake’s reputation for so long.

This cake has a wonderful texture and is just so sweet. It was lovely with the whipped cream and strawberries Caroline chose. In fact, it was so delicious I decided to use it in my strawberry trifle for Easter dessert! We haven’t had it with the fondant yet, but I know it will turn out just right.

This cake was a little tricky for me in that I am not used to such a thick batter. The batter is really heavy so I kept a careful eye on it. I also found that using any kind of cake release product crystallized the bottom of the cake, therefore turning it into wonderful scarps for George and I one morning, but not useful for a good cake! Just go ahead and grease, flour, and line with paper and you’ll be all set.

So, if you’re looking for a sweet, yet airy cake this is one you have to try. As always, my Caroline has good taste and I shouldn’t doubt her when she throws a curve-ball in my baking plans with different ideas. I’m so glad the birthday girl gets the cake she wants, because this cake will go into heavy rotation!

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Magnolia Bakery’s Vanilla Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Grease and line two 9-inch round pans with parchment or wax paper.

Combine flours and set aside.

In a large bowl, on medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth.

Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.

Continue beating on medium speed and add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. Allow the ingredients to incorporate, but do not over beat. Scrape bowl and make sure ingredients are well incorporated and divide between the two pans.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a cake tester placed in the middle comes out clean. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes, then allow to finish cooling on a wire rack.

 Source: More From Magnolia: Recipes from the World-Famous Bakery and Allysa Torey’s Home Kitchen