Monday, October 22, 2012

The Beginning of Mallow&Co

Rice Krispies

So least you be deceived, I did not start out this blog with an already amazing rice krispy recipe or background behind me. No county fair blue ribbons (do they even have rice krispy treats at fairs?), no grandma's secret tricks up my sleeve. I just had this random inspiration one day that I wanted to be a master rice krispy maker.

It could’ve stemmed from the fact that I've never been very good at fancy desserts. Don't get me wrong, I can whip out a mean batch of brownies or cookies, but when it comes to the more delicate dishes like beautiful cakes or light cupcakes, I fall flat. No literally, my cakes all fall flat. Or stick to the pan. Or break apart when I pull them out of the pan. Or fall flat, stick to the pan, and break apart when I pull them out. So despite my lifelong desire to be a beautiful dessert caterer, I've realized I needed to move on to a simpler style. Rice Krispies. These beauties, how could I go wrong?

So I began my quest to create the most perfect rice krispy ever. I went on a shopping rampage at my grocery store and bought them out of marshmallows and rice krispies. The cashier probably thought I was nuts. Either that or having pregnancy cravings. Little did he know I was out to make history in my own mind. Then the testing began.

I'm about to share something embarrassing with you. Ready? My first attempt was a Disaster. Period. No questions asked. I made 3 different supposedly "gourmet" versions. All with slight tweaks and changes for optimal flavor—I knew it was going to be a smash hit. I mean really, how could anyone mess up rice krispy treats? I had my beauties proudly laid out on a platter when the husband came home, ready for a blind taste testing. The poor man didn’t even get a hello, just a command to sit and judge my creations with me. Ok, version #1. I bite into it expecting heaven... what I got was a slightly soggy version of the normal treat. What the!?! What Had Happened?. Ok ok, that one was a flop, let's just try version #2. Again, same result. A soggy, almost stale treat. I desperately grabbed a #3 version. Same thing. What happened?! I repeatedly sampled each one, in hopes they would somehow transform if I kept eating. Once I had finally eaten through about half of each pan and was thoroughly sick, I gave up. I had messed up the most basic dessert in human history. There are 7 year old children across the world making these treats better then I right now.  I contemplated giving up, maybe I just wasn’t cut out for making desserts. (This wasn’t the first time it had happened to me. I could give you a long list of desserts I’ve tried to master so far: layered cakes, royal frosting decorating, macaroons, cupcakes, petite fours… I’ll save you the horrors I faced there)

I guarantee this girl's rice krispies were better then mine

My husband was kindly trying to convince me they weren't that bad. "Really honey, maybe just add a little less marshmallows... or more rice krispies.... or... I don't know. What did you put in them?"

Ugh! All I know is after a few moments of self pity I decided that I was not going to succeed at this if it was the last thing I did! I marched back into the kitchen while announcing to my husband that I was going to make The Best rice krispy treats this world has ever seen! (meanwhile he had already slipped off to go check ESPN highlights... so much for my dramatic exit)

And that's how it started. From then on I began a serious quest to perfect these tasty treats. I'm talking serious trial and error. The scientific method at its finest. I mean I was using spreadsheets to compare marshmallow and butter ratios. I tried it all: substituting more butter, less butter, margarine, shortening, big marshmallows, little marshmallows, jumbo marshmallows, flavorings, extracts, chocolates, spices, you name it they have been tested. My kitchen was a disaster the first few weeks. The floor was a land mine of stray rice krispies, the counter a permanent fly trap of sticky marshmallows. I forwent dinners for a little while in opt for rice krispy tasting. My husband knew the drill. Come home, sit down, and taste my newest versions of the day. Lie and tell me they taste delicious no matter what. Give me an honest opinion and constructive criticism. Good man. I kind of feel guilty now thinking back. Oh well.

Anyhoo, it was all worth it though. I ended up with my perfect version of the rice krispy treat. Now I was ready for bigger and better things. Which is where this blog comes in, a way to document all my failures and successes of my crazy rice krispy flavors. Enjoy!

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