Sunday, July 04, 2010


July 4th festivities! It was kickball and picnic time with the Americans at the Bois de Boulogne. Cheese, baguettes, wine, chicken and thyme flavored potato chips (and bbq flavor too!), cherries, more wine...and RICE KRISPIES! Courtesy of yours truly. It just seemed like the right thing to make when its super hot outside and you're in a foreign country celebrating July 4th.  I forgot to take pics except for the "garbage pail" ones, which have a slightly green tint to them (more on that later).

They were pretty much devoured over the course of a couple hours which made me quite happy and made me feel very American. Plus, these things are so easy to make - butter, marshmallows and cereal. I'm not one for overly processed foods but I can make an exception here.

I had scoured 4 grocery stores for Rice Krispies (Kellogs website says they are available in France). No Snap, Crackle or Pop to be seen. I found a little monkey and a frog (how french). And then, remembering I needed butter, I walked into a G20 supermarket and found them. So you do exist...

And where did I find marshmallows? They're not marshmallows, they're Haribo chamallows. Ok Haribo, sure why not. Lessons learned about Haribo chamallows:
- The best ones for rice krispies are the pink and white marshmallows
- The "barbecue marshmallows" which I thought would melt better had a funny sweet aftertaste (do you see the big marshmallow roasting the little one? So wrong...)
- The green, pink and white marshmallows (also Haribo but I picked them up the morning of the picnic for the last batch so they're not in the picture) have a fleur d'oranger taste to them

I made four batches:
- Cocoa pops (chocolate krispies) with salted brown butter - by far the best and my go-to recipe in the future
- Regular rice krispie treats
- Smacks (puffed bulgur wheat) with chocolate caramel on top - I didn't bring these out for people to try, they were so bad. Never use puffed bulgur wheat for krispies. blah
- Garbage pail - the remains of the cereals, also with salted brown butter and marshmallows that randomly had a hint of fleur d'oranger and ended up being my second favorite after the salted brown butter

Salted brown butter Cocoa Krispies
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen 

7 cups cocoa krispies (Cocoa pops)
10 oz marshmallows (I wish I had Jet-Puff but the Haribo pink and white work well)
4 ounces butter
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt

Coat a 13x9 inch pan with cooking spray (I had none so I rubbed it with a neutral oil). Combine the cereal and salt in a bowl and mix well.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. It will first foam, then it will become clear yellow with white milk solids floating around on top and then the milk solids will start to brown. At this point, start stirring frequently (wooden spoon) and scraping the browned milk solids from the bottom.  And don't even think about leaving for a minute. Burning butter makes it bitter (yes say it 10 times fast please)

Once the melted butter is a tan color and smells nutty, remove from heat and immediately add the marshmallows. Stir stir stir until your arm is tired. At that point, most of the marshmallows should have melted. If they're not all melted, return to medium-low heat and stir the mixture until everything is a smooth paste. 

Remove from heat and add the cereal with the salt mixed in. Again, work your arm muscles to mix everything together, making sure to pick up all the marshmallow mixture at the bottom of the saucepan. Invert the mix into the baking pan and use a buttered piece of wax or parchment paper to press down the krispies and get them into the corners. Cool, cut and eat. Or put in an airtight container and serve the next day.

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