Not sure I have a lot of words to describe what’s been happening in my kitchen. After spending most of my summer traveling to do this, this, this, this, and this, I’m finally home for a solid 4 days before hitting it again. I wanted to take full advantage of the lovely weather and some inspiration I found last week while hanging in St. Thomas, to frolick in my kitchen.
It seems as if I only get to cook if it’s for a client, which seems less and less these days with the traveling and fabulous projects I’m working on… like the official launch of B! Inspired which is depleting me of every ounce of energy I have. And you already know I have enough for 10 of us.
But this delightful piece of joy came to me two weeks ago after my sweet and precious mother made some basic rice krispies treats for my nephew’s soccer team. I nibbled on a few leftover scraps and was instantly taken back to my own childhood. I think it’s been that long since I’d had a homemade one. And I didn’t remember how much I loved those gooey, sticky, oh-so-bad for you “candies.”
I was okay with the basic recipe. Sure. They’re easy and relatively quick to make. They even taste good enough to have two.
But I started craving them this past Sunday and thought I could mature them.
And of course, espresso was my answer. Espresso is my answer to many of life’s problems.
And yet, that wasn’t enough. I needed mas. Something else to make anyone roll their eyes and ask “girl, who are you?!”
And don’t you know caramel is that wow thing that always makes people happy. Gloriously forgot that sugar isn’t necessary good for you. That all things delicious are in fact good for maintaining a sane mind.
The caramel, spiked with a bit of cayenne to give it a ridiculous umami layer, was sexy. Sexy enough to just open your mouth and let the drippings from the whisk make a linear descension onto your tongue.
But even that wasn’t enough.
I needed one more layer. Or two.
The espresso-lover I’m beholden to would explain the need to elevate this super basic, out-of-the-box treat with coffee ice cream.
Hello! Now we’re in business!
Ground Cuban espresso finished off the seductive plate and lunch was served. Yes, because this was entirely too good to wait until dinner to enjoy.
Fall is here. Sure is. Summer is gone. Sure is. But when something is this perfect. This easy. This beautiful. It doesn’t matter how old you are, what kind of diet you’re on, or what time of year it may be, it simply merits a full dive into every spoonful, not leaving a trace of caramel or speck of coffee.
Do it for the kid in you.
Espresso Rice Krispie Treats with Spicy Caramel and Coffee Ice Cream
- 6 cups Rice Krispies cereral
- 1 10z package of mini marshmallows
- 3 Tbsp. butter
- 1 shot sweetened espresso
- 2 cups coffee ice cream* (I didn’t make it this time. A good store brand will do. Häagan Daz’s is pretty tasty.)
- Ground espresso
In large saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until fully melted. Add rice cereal. While folding the mixture, slowly add espresso shot. Finish stiring. Add mixture to 8″ or 12″ square or rectangular nonstick or Pyrex dish, depending on the size and height you desire, and spread evenly using rubber spatula. Let cool.
Cut into 2″ squares. Make caramel.
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
Add sugar and water to medium saucepan. Melt sugar into fully dissolved, stirring occasionally. Bring to boil until mixture turns into a lovely caramel or cognac color. Remove from heat. Slowly whisk in whipping cream. Add butter and whisk until butter is fully incorporated. Whisk until your consistency is thicker than syrup. Stir in cayenne pepper and vanilla extract. Let cool at room temperature.
To plate. Drizzle caramel in circular motion on dessert plate. Place one treat. Top with coffee ice cream quenelle, smaller than size of rice krispies treat*. A teaspoon size will work. Drizzle a bit more caramel. Dust with ground espresso.
* I did a very rustic quenelle for purposes of this super casual dessert, though ultra decadent. For clients, guests, and other kinds of presentations, dish out a proper quenelle. It takes practice, so if you don’t know how, use a regular scoop of ice cream.