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