Saturday, March 30, 2013

Carrot Cake Rice Krispies Treats

Every year at Easter I try to find the perfect dessert to embody the beginning of spring, but for some reason
nothing really reminds me of the season more than a traditional carrot cake. As you can see, this is definitely not a traditional carrot cake.

I happened to come across the Carrot Cake Rice Krispie Treat recipe from a blog called Mallow and Co...yes, a blog devoted exclusively to rice krispies treats recipes. You're welcome. However, after recently reading  Deb Perelman's Salted Brown Butter Crispy Treats recipe in the Smitten Kitchen cookbook, I decided to make a few alterations and came up with this recipe mash-up.

I realize some traditionalists out there may be wondering why you would mess with such a standard like the Rice Krispie Treat--it has been working like a delicious charm since 1939 after all--but let me tell you, it's worth it. Probably the most appealing aspect of this dessert is that it's so quick to make, so feel free to skip browning the butter in this recipe if you're in a hurry, but definitely give it a try if you have the time because it really adds a depth of flavor.

I was skeptical as to whether these treats would actually taste like carrot cake, but they absolutely do. Also be aware that the frosting recipe will leave a bit leftover, so just be prepared to find yourself smearing cream cheese frosting on anything in sight. Or maybe that's just me.

Carrot Cake Rice Krispies Treats
     adapted from Mallow and Co and Smitten Kitchen
     makes 1 8x8 or 9x9 pan

8 Tablespoons butter
1 10-oz bag marshmallows
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup dry carrot cake mix
6 cups Rice Krispies

Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz cream cheese
8 Tablespoons butter
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Butter (or coat with non-stick spray) an 8-inch square cake pan with 2-inch sides.

2. In a large pot, melt butter over medium-low heat. It will melt, then foam, then turn clear golden and finally start to turn brown and smell nutty. Stir frequently, scraping up any bits from the bottom as you do. Don’t take your eyes off the pot as while you may be impatient for it to start browning, the period between the time the butter begins to take on color and the point where it burns is often less than a minute.

3. As soon as the butter takes on a nutty color, turn the heat off and stir in the marshmallows. The residual heat from the melted butter should be enough to melt them, but if it is not, turn it back on low until the marshmallows are smooth. Stir in the vanilla and cake mix.

4.  Pour in the cereal and fold together with a large spoon or silicone spatula. Pour into prepared pan and press firmly and evenly into the edges. Allow to cool for 30 minutes before turning onto waxed paper to frost and slice.

5. For the frosting: Beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Slowly add the sugar, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add in the vanilla and beat until smooth and combined.

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