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Monday, October 4, 2010

Tricia's Week 39 Recipe, or "How I Failed as a 1950's Housewife"

At first I wasn't going to post this as my week 39 recipe.  But then, it ended up being a short week and I didn't cook any other new recipes, and I got sick, and also I thought, even though you should post.  After all, this blog isn't about all the recipes that worked, it's about all the recipes.  Even the ones I totally, completely, utterly, universally failed at.  This is one of those.

To set the scene.  I had a miserable day at work.  Looking back, I can't even remember all the details of its miserableness.  I do remember being miserable, and telling Trevor so on the phone on the way home, and arriving  home much earlier than he did.  I arrived home to a messy kitchen.  This is happening WAY more than it should these days...I should fix that this weekend!  (Me, the queen of procrastination.)  So, I cleaned up the kitchen and in doing so put up a box of Rice Krispies. I stopped, looked at it, and set it back on the counter.  I finished the dishes, still looking at my newly aquired box of cereal, pondering the possibilities of a new recipe.  I love rice Krispie treats.  LOVE them.  (Do you see where this is going yet?)  I love peanut butter rice Krispy treats even more, especially if there is a lovely layer of fudgy frosting on top.

I searched the internet, and came upon this recipe from the Rice Krispies website for peanut butter treats.  I saw others (like this one) but ignored them for the ingredients I had on hand.  The recipe online didn't have a lovely fudge topping, but that was OK, I could add it later.  So I made the treats:

3 Tbs butter, melted
1 package (10oz) big marshmallows, or 4 cups mini marshmallows
1/2 cup peanut butter
6 cups Krispies

The directions say melt butter and marshmallows together in the microwave for 3 minutes, stirring after 2.  Add 1/2 cup peanut butter and stir til melted, then add to Krispies and magic will happen.  (Ok, that is not verbatim, but this is how I'm beginning to feel.)

I started by melting things in the microwave.  I could only heat for 1.5 minutes, not 2, because the marshmallows were growing exponentially and threatening a gooey mess that would really have had me cleaning my kitchen for a while.  I stirred.  I cooked another almost 1.5 minutes.  I added the peanut butter.  My guess is this recipe calls for fake, creamy peanut butter, not the 'real' peanuts and salt kind.  I also think it doesn't call for the under-oiled, leftover peanut butter my fridge had to offer.  It likely really doesn't call for a bit extra of it to 'just use it up'  I add.  I stir. Magic is not happening!!  I am starting to make paste!  AH!  Maybe it cooled to much, maybe!  Back in the microwave it goes.  Back out it comes, I stir, it's now warmed paste.  I don't give up though, I add Krispies.  I stir, but the now hardening paste won't accept the multitude of Krispies I've offered it.  I try using hands, rather than stirring implement, to kneed in the Krispies.  This helps, but doesn't solve the problem.  More goo! I think desperately.  I quickly heat the rest of my bag of mini marshmallows, wondering the whole time why I didn't just cook them all to begin with.  I add that to my bowl of cooling paste and cereal.  I burn my hand.  I look forlornly at the mess in the pan.  I sigh, stir some more, and give up.  I take the cake that is the stuck-together Krispies and place it in my cakepan.  I pour the non-stuck Krispies on top, determine to stick them with frosting.  I consider how I will make my frosting (see bonus recipe).

The door opens, Trevor walks in.  He asks, rather tentatively having talked to me earlier and heard the mixing and puttering and plopping and sighing from the kitchen, how I am doing.  I walk to the top of the stairs and look down at him and declare, "I am a failure of a 1950's housewife!" in a rather desperate tone.  He laughs (I will admit it was funny, but at the time nothing was going right and I was rather serious), and says "what happened?".  I related the above.

I will make treats again!  I will succeed where I have failed!  Mothers, makers of this tasty treat, what have I done wrong?  Was it not enough mallow?  Too many krispies?  Too old of peanut butter (mallows were a bit old, but not bad)?  Bad Karma?  HELP me, please!!


  1. It was probably the peanut butter. I would try again with a fresh jar of PB and if that doesn't work, try it with the Jif/Skippy type of PB. My guess is that this recipe was written for the "fake" kind.

  2. You might also try this on the stovetop instead of the microwave - better heat and mixing control.

  3. I could never make Rice Krispie treats... until I did it on the stove top in a heavy dutch oven-type kettle. It held the heat while I stirred in the cereal. Also, it melted everything more evenly. Then I wet my hands before patting everything into place in the pan.

    I don't know about the peanut butter... but maybe cut back on the butter if you use the 'natural' peanut butter?

  4. I have also just tried making these in my 'cheaper' saucepan. I am in agreement with the previous comment - use a really heavy pan to hold in the heat. The cheaper one did not work nicely.