Halloween Countdown: Another Baking Experiment

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I saw this in the store and I figured I could do this one. It’s Rice Krispies treats. They’re the things—besides grilled cheese and ramen noodles—that even college dorm kids can make.

Except I really really suck at making grilled cheese. Ramen is my jam though. The verdict was still out on Rice Krispies treats. I’ve never made them. And although I had a bad feeling about my first time being this pumpkin-shaped kit, like I said, I figured I could do this one.

It’s become kind of a tradition for me botch up baking crap on this blog. See last year’s pumpkin-shaped cookies for reference. You might be tempted to think I screw these up on purpose to make it seem funnier. I assure you I do not. Every time I step foot in the kitchen, I blow it up — heap piles of dirty dishes, flour in weird nooks of the oven, greasy residue left on every surface — I would not do this willingly if I wasn’t also trying my hardest.

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But look, this only has four directions. This is going to be one of my easy ones. The first step is basically wash your hands. Donezo. Three steps left.

And look, the marshmallows and rice cereal are already measured out in individual bags for me. All I pretty much had to do was melt butter. I had this thing down to two steps.

I had this thing in the fricking bag, even if I felt a little leery that the pumpkin mold shaper thingy was just a crappy piece of plastic:

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But first things first. Melting butter. I opened the fridge, pulled out the butter, and discovered the stick had precisely two tablespoons left. I didn’t even have to measure it. I’m a God right now.

Well, except I almost melted it in a skillet first. Skillets are not the same as sauce pans. Crisis averted, thanks to the wife’s keen eye. Phew.

I melted my butter and added my marshmallows in the sauce pan.

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Things were going along swimmingly. That’s the word I thought of as I did this. Swimmingly. What a nice word. I’m going to use that tomorrow when I write about this. For everyone expecting me to have created some marshmallow horror lump by now: NOPE. I got this.

But if you can’t tell, every step is tense for me. Butter, adding marshmallows, stirring: it’s all really stressful because I want it to be exceedingly perfect.

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Still, I continued to ace it. I fully melted the marshmallows, careful not to overheat or burn them. I stirred in the food coloring and it turned a delightful shade of orange. Nevermind that I almost forgot to add the coloring, almost adding the rice cereal first. That would have been a crisis.

But no. Swimmingly.

So next I mixed in the rice, and it all mixed together perfectly and evenly. No wonder college kids can do this. This is nothing. I waited five minutes for it to cool, and then it was finally time to start molding them with that crappy plastic thing.

I studied the directions. It said to coat my hands in butter, oil, or cooking spray. Disgusting. I decided to skip it. I’d use a spatula.

Except melted marshmallow is possibly the stickiest substance on earth. I tried to be polite about it, using the rubber spatula to spoon the mixture into the molds. Next thing I knew, something was stuck to something. I got marshmallow crap stuck to my hands, dropped the spatula on the floor, and then had to fend off the dog with my feet, who came charging like a wildebeest towards the dropped spatula.

CUT. Start over. DOG GET OUT OF HERE. Breathe. Alright, let me look at that direction again. Cooking spray it is. Now my hands are disgusting and greasy, but it’s seriously magical how it stops things from sticking. If you read back through all of my baking experiment posts, you will probably find a paragraph where I am just in utter awe of how cooking spray solves all of the problems. It’s amazing.

However, the plastic mold was as crappy and stupid as expected. Things went along swimmingly until just then, when I finally crashed into a log, flipped the boat, and fell over the waterfall to my death.

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These don’t look like pumpkins. They look like day-glo hamburgers. I hate myself.

I really hate myself.

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The one in the middle is me. It’s a self-portrait of how I feel about this.

But they taste exactly like they should, even if red food dye sort of makes my tongue feel numb and makes me go ADHD. (I’m certain I have an allergy to it, but I won’t give up NEON FOOOOOOOOOODS.) Also I learned an important life lesson: that I can add Rice Krispies treats to my menu repertoire. Move over, Ramen noodles.

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15 responses to “Halloween Countdown: Another Baking Experiment

  1. our baking posts always make me smile. Whatever you always comes out far better than anything of mine would though, believe me!

  2. *Your baking posts, even.

  3. They are really good!

  4. you kinda have to expect that those molds are gonna suck. Overall, I think they turned out pretty good, I don’t think it’s possible to make it look like the package. I like the guy on the top right with the x eyes.

  5. This is usually how my baking goes too. One mess after another. You should have seen the Spongebob b-day cake I tried to make for my friend. Spongebob looked like he got ran over and somehow his arms looked shriveled up. Haha, but it tasted good.

    Also thank you for writing about the fall activities and Halloween. I’m studying in Austria now and this blog is my outlet for homesickness. Really it’s a bittersweet thing.

  6. I love how there is an adult and kids version.

  7. Don’t hate yourself, hate the people who issue such flimsy molds for sticky, stiff mixtures like rice krispy treats and lead you to believe that they’ll do something. You would have been better off shelling out for a nice pumpkin-shaped cookie cutter and using that to mold your shapes.
    If it makes you feel better, you did the best you could with what you were given. And if you take any joy in these projects at all, then keep trying! You can’t get any better if you never practice.

  8. Don’t be too rough on yourself here. Take another look at the Krispy Treat box; your’s don’t look too different from the official ones. Sure they look like crap before you draw the faces, but after that they’re practically indistinguishable from each other.

    I’d say it went swimmingly.

  9. i read this and this one from last year about the pumpkin cookes. I sort of love you…swimmingly funny; you are.

    * from some blog reader (Me!) happened upon your blog during a google search for a recipe and kept you in my favorites for entertaining reading each day when i read my various saved blogs…you made the list! lucky you..

  10. shame i cant spell or use puncutation correctly…this is why i read other peoples stuff

  11. It does kind of look like day-glo hamburger patties. That’s awesome!

  12. congratulations on your success :P It’s upwards from here!

    have you tried the pecan pie flavored pringles yet? every time I see weird stuff at Target I think of this blog.

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