Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tuesday Treats: Valentine's Day Edition

Snap, crackle, pop. Oh, yeah... a little throwback to your childhood (or mine. If you didn't have a cool mom who made you rice crispy treats, then I'm sorry).  Now, let's be honest - all the best desserts have gluten. Sad for my little family.  I'm a big fan of flour-laden cupcakes and cookies, but for the other two eaters in my house, I cook gluten-free.  Enter Valentine's Day: what in the world do you do when your kid goes to school and they have a dietary restriction?? Answer: you back lots of rice crispy treats.  You bake enough so the whole class gets them and your kid doesn't feel sad that he missed out on cupcakes... again.  Little side note: most rice crisp cereals DO have gluten (in the form of barley malt), so be a good label reader if you have food sensitivities.  I found a GF-version of Kellog's Rice Crispies at Fred Meyers (Fry's) and Whole Foods has a different GF brand, as well.  All you have to do to make them holiday-party ready is to toss a handful of m&ms on top before you smoosh the marshmallow/cereal mixture totally flat in the pan... throw a bunch of sprinkles on top, and the kids will love it!

Rice Crispy Treats

1/4 cup butter
6 cups marshmallows
8 1/2 cup rice crispy cereal
optional: m&ms and sprinkles

Melt butter in a large stock pot or dutch oven over medium heat.  When butter is completely melted, add marshmallows and stir constantly until mixture is totally smooth.  Add cereal and stir, stir, stir until it is mixed evenly.  Pour mixture into a lightly oiled 9x13" pan.  If adding m&ms, scatter them on top of mixture, then press mixture firmly into the pan, creating a smooth top.  
Helpful hint: use a piece of parchment paper to help you smoosh the mixture down so it doesn't stick to your hands.


Ohhh! Guess what?! You get TWO awesome (and super easy) recipes this week.  I obviously {heart} you.  Carter and I made these easy little treats for his lovely teacher.  Hopefully she's not weirded out by homemade treats like I was when I was teaching... 

Valentine's Day Pretzel Candy Bites

small pretzels (squares or traditional shape)
1 package of Hershey's Hugs (or kisses!)
1 package of m&ms - fun holiday colors preferred!

Preheat oven to 200.  Lay pretzels on a silpat or parchment paper lined cookie sheet (I made about 35 on one cookie sheet).  Place unwrapped Hug in the middle of each pretzel.  Pop into the oven for 3-4 minutes.  SET YOUR TIMER!  Seriously.  If you leave them even a minute too long, you'll have a pool of chocolate and it won't be so pretty.

Remove from the oven as soon as chocolate is soft enough to squish down when you press the m&m onto the top.  Once all m&ms are squished into their little chocolate nests, put the cookie sheet into the refrigerator until candies have completely cooled.  Remove cooled candies from cookie sheet and keep in an airtight container or eat right away!

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