Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Browned Butter Peanut Butter Crispy Rice Treats

We are in our fourth heat wave of the summer according to New York City weathermen.  They define a heat wave as a sequence of days with highs over 90 degrees.  I define heat wave as any sequence of days where the high is over 82.  I have been in a perpetual heat wave since May.   I have been told that I need to ‘embrace summer’ and that I am ‘from the South where it is even hotter!’ which are valid arguments except I have never experienced as suffocating a heat as when you are waiting on the D train at Broadway/Lafayette subway station with no air circulation and the only breeze that could possibly exist comes when the train I do NOT need pulls in but is then stifled due to the heat that the multi-ton metal machine exudes in your face before pulling out.  Try to embrace that, I say.

Nevertheless, I am trucking away with our window air conditioning units (thank God for those) and seeking relief by plotting my walks to the subway via routes that include doormen-operated apartment buildings and clothing stores that keep their doors open.  This allows me to stand idly in front of them for three-minute stretches before moving to the next one and eventually heading down into the inferno of the subway platform. 
You can imagine how the last thing I want to do then is turn on an oven.   My daily pension for a baked treat is taking a severe beating.  However, I have found these little goodies satisfy me – they are just as basic and warm-fuzzy inducing as a cupcake and have a fancy twist thanks to the browned butter.  And they come from one of my favorite blogger's first cookbook!  

Browned Butter Peanut Butter Crispy Rice Treats
Adapted (moderately) from the Joy the Baker Cookbook

1 stick butter
1 bag mini-marshmallows (10 ounce)
½ cup smooth, natural peanut butter (I used JIF naturals)
¼ teaspoon salt
6 cups of crispy rice cereal

Butter an 8 or 9-inch square pan.  In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt butter until browned over medium heat.  Butter will become foamy and frothy before you notice browned bits on the bottom.  As the browned bits form, stir in the marshmallows, peanut butter and salt.  Stir until the marshmallows have melted and the mixture is smooth and creamy. Turn off heat, remove pan from the heat and add rice cereal.  Stir fast so that the cereal is coated evenly.  Turn mixture into your buttered square pan and, using your fingers, press mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan.  Let cool before slicing. 

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