Once a year, whether I like it or not, I watch a few dozen laps of the Daytona 500. The mister makes sure of it. If you've never seen a 500 mile race, this is how it goes: Driver gets in car, pushes gas pedal, turns left over and over and over, and either wrecks or crosses finish line. This year the Daytona, cancelled due to rain, was moved from Sunday to Monday, all fine and good except that by 8:00 P.M. PST the Daytona was still on FOX...which meant I could not watch HOUSE! (It's the only show on TV that I publicly admit to caring about.) I was irritated...the mister was thrilled. He waltzed in late, pleaded the fifth (it was more like a gallon), fixed himself a plate, parked his arse in front of the TV and instantly became an expert on Daytona...drafting, bumping, braking, the backstretch...blah, blah, blah. But wait, there's more! Danica, Jimmy, Junior, Busch...he began spouting info like jet fuel after a crash, enough to flood a landfill...like the one between my ears. Look, I get it, it's a big race with big money, big egos, big fans, it's a big to-do...but seriously, left turns were more important than HOUSE?!?!?
Fortunately, I had these little beauties to help ease my pain...and wouldn't you know it, right before the race ended, my sugar coma began. If you make these, remember to pace yourself...one bite per lap is not recommended. Rice Krispies Treats, one of the four main food groups, has been a staple in our home since The Boy grew his first molar. Crispy, chewy and sweet...an almost perfect treat which was elevated to perfection with the addition of a thick caramel and sprinkles of sea salt. This one takes the Checkered Flag!
The sprinkle of salt on top of the caramel is just enough to make your taste buds stand up and take notice...and just enough to cut the sweetness long enough for you to take another bite or four. Once the Rice Krispies Treats are made and set, according to the directions of the box, the caramel is poured on top - some of the Rice Krispies will float to the top of the caramel, making it so you have crunch on both sides! After the caramel has set for just a few minutes the coarse sea salt is sprinkled on and voila, just like that this humble little treat we've all known and loved from childhood becomes a gourmet delight, worthy of being individually wrapped and given as gifts!
Salted Caramel Rice Krispies Treats - Pots and Pins
(You could also add chocolate or butterscotch chips to the Rice Krispies Treats, or sprinkle chocolate chips on top of the hot caramel before sprinkling with salt...fancy them up all you want, they are dang good...five dangs on the ol' meter!!)
Rice Krispies Treats:
3 tablespoons butter
1 package (10 oz.) regular marshmallows or 4 cups of mini-marshmallows
*6 cups Rice Krispies
2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 cups corn syrup
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Coarse Sea Salt for sprinkling on top
Butter a 9x13-inch baking dish. In a large pan, over medium-low heat, melt butter. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Pour in Rice Krispies and stir until evenly coated. Scoop Rice Krispies mixture into prepared baking dish and using a lightly buttered spatula or buttered fingers, press Rice Krispies down firmly into baking dish.
Make Caramel: In a large (mixture will bubble up so use a large pan!), heavy-bottomed pan, combine sugar, corn syrup, 1 cup of cream and butter. Stirring often, bring to a boil, over medium heat, then pour in remaining cup of cream. Heat, without stirring to 242 degrees (soft ball stage) or until a small abount of syrup dropped into cold water forms a firm but pliable ball when removed from water. (Using a candy thermometer is a really good idea, but if you don't have one, make sure to do the cold water test and the "ball" needs to hold it's shape but still be pliable for the caramel to set up right.) This will take about 20 minutes or so, watch so it doesn't boil over. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla. Immediately pour over Rice Krispies. Some of the Rice Krispies will float to the top and some bubbles will appear, just pop with a fork. Let caramel set for about 3 minutes then sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Allow caramel to cool completely, then cut into bars, squares or however big or small you want. I cut mine into 3-inch squares, wrapped them individually in waxed paper and tied them with a string, all in an attempt to make them harder for me to eat...didn't slow me down one bit!
*For your chocolate lovers out there, substitute Cocoa Krispies or make a batch that's half and half...dang good!
One year ago: British Flap-Jacks
Two years ago: Quilt Group Friday
Three years ago: Cassoulet
Four years ago: Baby Quilt #3