This is a classic treat! A few simple touches convert traditional Rice Krispie Treats into something special!
I made half of a batch, with a few additions. Here’s the recipe:
1 1/2 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 Tbs. creamy peanut butter
2 C. miniature marshmallows
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 C. Rice Krispies
1/2 C. white chocolate chips
Fine salt (optional)
1. Line an 8″x8″ square pan with wax paper, leaving enough overhang so you can remove the treats.
2. In large saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter, peanut butter and marshmallows; Stir until well combined.
3. Add vanilla extract and stir; Add in cereal and thoroughly coat with marshmallow mixture. Remove from heat.
4. Spread cereal mixture into pan, pressing evenly. This works best if you use plastic kitchen gloves or coat your hands with a little cooking spray.
5. Cut the hearts before the cereal cools completely, it’s much easier this way. I used about a 2″ heart, which made 6 hearts.
6. Melt 1/2 C. white chocolate chips at 30 second intervals, stirring until smooth.
7. Fill a Ziploc bag (or piping bag) with the white chocolate; cut off a small corner for piping – remember, you can always cut a larger hole!
8. Drizzle the white chocolate across the hearts, and top with Valentine M&Ms. The white chocolate dries quickly when applied in a thin layer, so it’s best to either work very quickly, or decorate each heart before moving onto the next.
9. Using the bag of melted white chocolate, drizzle the chocolate in fine lines across the candies – you don’t need a lot, just enough to ensure the candies stick. You can do diagonal designs, cross-hatch, or even mix it up and use white and dark chocolate for the two layers of chocolate!
10. While the top layer of white chocolate is still wet, I like to add a very slight sprinkling of fine salt (my preference is pink Himalayan sea salt) – it provides a wonderful contrast to the sweetness!
These would be adorable with a smaller heart shaped cutter – especially for lots of kids! You’ll also have less ‘leftover’ treats than I did. But that just got eaten – no waste!
So, this particular dessert came about because….well, meringue is naturally fat free (yay!) and so easy to make!
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I wanted to do something a bit different, so I made these raspberry. If you’re not keen on that flavor, almond meringues are just marvelous! Don’t be afraid to play around with flavors! If you use an extract, start with 1/4 tsp., as they can be strong.
2 egg whites, room temperature
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1 Tbs. melted seedless raspberry jam
Cream of tartar (about 1/2 tsp.)
1/2 tsp. corn starch
A couple of notes before I begin:
Room temperature egg whites are crucial for making meringue, as it will allow the whipped egg whites reach their full potential.
Meringue normally has a ratio of 1/4 C. sugar for each egg white. However, in this case, I didn’t want the meringue to be overly sweet (as I was adding raspberry jam). I ended up using about 5 Tbs. of sugar. If that’s not a worry for you, add the entire 1/2 cup of sugar!
The use of cream of tartar helps peaks form. I added a bit more than usual (1/4 tsp. + 1/8 tsp.) because I had used less sugar then usual. Also, the raspberry jam added additional moisture, so the corn starch helped negate that. Corn starch is not a common ingredient in regular meringue.
My final meringue was nearly at the stiff peak stage – not as stiff as I’d like but still pipeable.
Onto the recipe!
1. Preheat the oven to 200°. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
2. Beat the egg whites and jam on medium speed until the mixture starts to look frothy. This can take several minutes. Slowly add the sugar. After the first addition of sugar, add in the corn starch and cream of tartar.
3. Add in the remaining sugar slowly. After it’s completely added, the whites will still need to whip completely. It took me about 12-15 minutes until it was done. As I said, it wasn’t completely firm, but stiff enough to pipe. This is what the meringue looked like:
4. I used a #18 piping tip (star tip) and a disposable piping bag. Both of these are totally optional! You can fill a Ziploc bag with the meringue, snip the tip off and pipe with that. It’s a lot easier to put your bag in a cup while you fill it:
5. I freehanded my designs, because I wanted more of a Seussical look, but you can also trace hearts on one side of the parchment and pipe on the other. Either works just fine.
6. Bake for one hour. Then rotate the pan and, using your finger, gently push down any peaks that formed on the top of the designs where you stopped piping. The meringue is still soft enough that they’ll smooth down.
7. Bake for an additional hour, then turn the oven off and let sit for one hour, undisturbed, in the oven. You’ll know they’re done when you can easily remove them from the parchment. The raspberry meringues are a very light purple, but otherwise should have no color.
In the interest of integrity, I sampled one, to ensure I’m not posting less-than-stellar recipes. The sweetness is delicious and the raspberry subtle and smooth. Delightful! The texture is wonderful once it’s cooled.
Both of these recipes are terrific to make with kids! Divide the meringue into quart sized bags, so everyone can pipe! They will LOVE making their own designs – and then they get to eat them!
I have no pictures of these, but trust me, they were adorable! They are best served when cool, the same day.
What are you making for Valentine’s Day? Let me know in the comments!