Who needs a Monday pick-me-up?
(Is it wrong that I am raising my own hand?)
My little brother recently had a birthday. By “little” I mean he is about 6’5″ and has a beard-or maybe a mustache, is that what is happening this month?- so, he’s not technically little anymore, but he’ll always be my little bro! He lives in Seattle so since I can’t be with him on his birthday I always try to send home something sweet to brighten his day and let him know I’m thinking of him (along with a perfectly pitched rendition of Happy Birthday over the phone of course!).
I try and get a little creative every year, but have to work within some pretty tight confines. Namely, these treats have to travel well, not get smooched, and not melt, go bad, or otherwise get ruined on the trip up to Seattle. So, it can be tough. But speaking of tough, this year I thought-what’s easier to transport than Rice Krispies treats? It will be perfect! But, I needed to so something to make it a little more special. He is my little brother after all.
Pumpkin Spice. Perfect! I’ve been pumpkin crazy anyway, why not continue the trend!?!
Well, these pumpkin goodies turned out to be a little more difficult than I had bargained for. First, I tried pureed pumpkin. I mixed it in with the marshmallows. It was a gorgeous orange color and I thought I was on the right track. Then I added the Rice Krispies. Ut oh. I started hearing that trademark snap, crackle, pop and I thought, “That’s funny, I don’t remember hearing that when I make Rice Krispies treats.” Then I figured it out. The pumpkin was too moist. The cereal was meeeelllllting. Ok not really, but it was getting soggy. Bummer.
Onto Plan B. I added a tiny bit of pumpkin puree and a good dollop of pumpkin spice seasoning. Jackpot. You get all the pumpkin flavor and none of the soggy Rice Krispies!
What really takes this birthday treat over the top is the addition of a tick chocolate layer on top. It goes amazingly well with the pumpkin flavor AND can stand up to some interstate travel! The key is lots and lots and LOTS of melted chocolate.
Speaking of keys…and melted chocolate…the key to perfectly melted chocolate is melting it slowly. Trust me, I know how easy it is to get impatient and just want to stick it in the micro for 2 minutes and be done. But please, don’t! You will end up with melted chocolate, sure, but it’ll be ashy and crumbly and not pretty at all. If you want smooth, velvety, shiny chocolate, you have to be patient! Melt the chocolate in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time. Stir between each half minute and continue until the chocolate is melted. This will yield you perfect birthday-worthy melted chocolate!
Recipe: Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispy Treats
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- 1 package marshmallows or 4 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
- 6 cups Rice Krispies
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin spice seasoning
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin puree
- 1 24 oz package chocolate chips
- Melt butter in large pot or sauce pan over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until melted and well-blended. Add pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice. Stir until combined. Remove from heat
- Add Rice Krispies. Stir until well coated
- Using buttered spatula or waxed paper, press mixture evenly and firmly in buttered 13 x 9 inch pan.
- Melt chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl for 30 seconds at a time. Stir between each round. Continue until completely melted. Spread over Rice Krispy Treats, refrigerate several hours or overnight.