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2.19.2010

Not Settling Brown Butter Rice Cereal Treats


There’s a new book out that’s been getting a fair amount of attention and I can understand why. It has a catchy title: Marry Him, The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough. First of all I should say that I have not read this book so my opinions are based solely on reviews and my gut reaction to the premise. Ugh. How depressing, right? Let’s start with the word “settling.” Wouldn’t “compromising” be a little easier to swallow? Most mature adults understand that a relationship requires compromise and flexibility but settling? Imagine if you were Mr. Good Enough. How would you feel knowing your Ms. Right looked at you and thought, “Eh. I can take him or leave him. I guess he’s good enough.” What is the point of searching for a life partner if all you’re going to get is “eh?” Wouldn’t you rather look for “yay!”?
Now, I realize I’m not in a particularly convincing position to be lecturing on what a person should or should not be looking for in a spouse. But, I do think it is a sad state of affairs if the getting married part of getting married is so important that “settling for Mr. Good Enough” is what we’ve come to. Why settle at all? Be happy in your own skin and in your own life to live it fully and when you cross paths with Mr. or Ms. Right you will say “You are great!” and "enough" won’t figure into the equation.

I feel the same way about sweets. For example, these days I would never eat a Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookie. Once upon a time in college we’d put those hard, chocolate-y chipped hockey pucks in the toaster in the hopes of awakening some home baked goodness (and often starting small fires in the dining halls). They never really satisfied although I guess next to nothing else they could have been considered “good enough.” Desperate times lead to mediocre cookies.
But thankfully these are not desperate times and we have more control over what we ingest--except when a treat is unexpectedly given to us. The last time I was at the hair salon (a.k.a. my home away from home) I was offered something that looked like chocolate chip biscotti. I gave a skeptical eye to my thinks-he's-Warren Beatty-in-Shampoo-hairdresser who promised me they were "amazing." Not true. The minute I popped the nugget I chose from the Ziploc bag into my mouth I realized it was mandelbrot (made with oil and not butter) and I was stuck chomping on a dry, dusty, tasteless cookie. A joyless waste of time and calories. And what was I going to do? Spit it out? I swallowed and begged for water.
Knowing that this week a lot of kids are home on vacation I was thinking about ways to make their favorite treats even better. Why "settle" if it isn't the best? (Or at least better). Thumbing through my stack of recipe clippings I found one that appeared in the Times a few years ago for Caramelized Brown Butter Rice Krispies Treats. Sound great, don't they? Thank goodness I did some googling and came upon several postings by people who’d made them only to find themselves using their teeth as saws—the treats cooled to rock hard. So, I just played with the original recipe, upgraded the ingredients and hoped to bring them to a grown up level without alienating the small set eagerly awaiting a buttery, marshmallow crunchy square that is definitely better than good enough. I think that’s a good lesson to teach early and often.

Not Settling Brown Butter Rice Cereal Treats Ingredients
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4 Tablespoons European Style Butter (I used Plugra)
10 ounces of better marshmallows (mine were from Whole Foods and were on sale! $1.42)
6 cups brown rice cereal (Erewon from the health food store)
¼ teaspoon Maldon sea salt

Directions
Butter an 8” square baking pan.

In a large pot over medium high heat melt butter until it turns dark golden and gives off a nutty aroma.
Lower heat to low and add marshmallows.
Stir until marshmallows melt completely and add salt.
Take off heat and stir in cereal quickly to coat completely. A silicone or plastic spoon or spatula is helpful here.
Spoon cereal into prepared pan using wax paper to help press the mixture down evenly.
Let cool and cut into squares.
Yield: 16 2” squares or however many of whatever size you want.


1 comment:

Sarah Maizes said...

YUM! I'd LOVE to link to this from my blog!!!!!