I grew up with an amazing mother who worked a very demanding job. On weeknights when she got home, she would spend the remainder of her evening cooking dinner and caring for my brother and me. On the weekends, when Mom could be a little more liberal with her free time, she would undoubtedly find her way back into the kitchen. The mixing bowls and measuring spoons would come out, the oven would go on, and it was time for us to bake. It was never anything over-the-top extravagant, but it was always delicious, cheerful, and memorable.
Although I don’t carry the same corporate responsibilities my mother did, I still lead quite a busy life. In keeping with similarities, I too find a great deal of joy feeding my family dinner and baking with my two little daughters on the weekends. I’ve found over the years that Mom had the right idea when it came to “baking” with children: the key is to keep things simple. And, friends, there is not a simpler dessert on the planet than marshmallow crispy treats.
I’ll let one daughter throw in the butter, while the other adds the marshmallows. Then it’s only a simple matter of heating, stirring, adding the rice cereal and waiting for things to cool down. When a holiday is nearing, I like to add a festive touch to these little delights by cutting them out into fun shapes and whipping up a quick batch of royal icing. Then, I’ll once again hand over the reigns to the kiddos and watch the sprinkles fly. Don’t mind the mess, it’s all about the fun and the making of memories. Please, enjoy.
Marshmallow Crispy Treats
For the Marshmallow Treats:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon of fine sea salt
16 ounces jet-puffed, mini marshmallows
6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
Have ready a well-greased 9×13” baking dish.
In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter and stir in salt. Add the marshmallows and stir often until completely melted, about 3-5 minutes. Using a sturdy spoon, stir in cereal 2 cups at a time.
Transfer mixture to the baking dish and allow to cool completely, 20-30 minutes. If cutting into shapes, remove the block of marshmallow crispy treats from the pan and transfer to a work surface. Cut into desired shapes using a sturdy cookie cutter. Otherwise, cut the treats into 2” squares, serve and enjoy.
For the Icing:
1 1/2 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar
3 tablespoons of warm water
1 tablespoon meringue powder (found at specialty craft stores)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of fine sea salt
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine powdered sugar, meringue powder, water, extract and salt. Begin mixing on low until powdered sugar has absorbed the liquid ingredients, then increase speed to medium-high.
Alternatively, you can use a large mixing bowl and a handheld mixer. Mix for 2-3 minutes or until the icing is the consistency of toothpaste. To ensure the icing is the right consistency, test it by allowing icing to drip from the paddle attachment or beaters. It should take about 30 seconds before the fallen icing loses its shape and melds into the rest of the icing. With the mixer on low, add 1-2 drops of food coloring at a time until the icing has reached the desired color.
You can find more tips on working with royal icing under “TAK’s Royally Iced Sugar Cookies” at TheAnthonyKitchen.com.
Spread the cut marshmallow treats out onto a protected work surface. Add a spoonful of icing to the center of the treat, then using the back of the spoon spread the icing to the outer edges, allowing it to drape over the sides. Decorate with sprinkles or small candies, if desired. Set aside and allow the icing to set, about 2-3 hours.
For more sweet treat ideas, go to TheAnthonyKitchen.com and click the “Dessert” category.