Happy Friday, campers!
Congratulations to you for making it through the work week (hopefully) unscathed. The week after a holiday always seems a little rough, since I spend the better part of it reminiscing about all the fun we had. I think workplaces across the country should implement a "vacation recap day" -- on the first day back from holidays and trips, it's acceptable and even expected to rehash stories, share pictures, and catch up on any local news/action the traveler missed. Someone start a petition for this, okay? Please and thank you!
Just when we got settled and unpacked, it's time to leave again! This weekend, we're heading to Reading to visit Matt's family. It's our annual summer visit. We'll laugh, we'll play, and we'll probably barbeque every single night.
Matt's parents grill more than anyone else I know. Then, after dinner, they stay outside and transition from meal time to fire pit time. With music playing (usually Jimmy Buffett) and cool drinks in hand, Mr. & Mrs. spend their evenings relaxing outside until bedtime. When we're visiting, we definitely get fire pit fever and end up enjoying late nights on the patio, chatting away.
Since the first time I visited Matt's parents in Reading, I've adopted a tradition of baking and taking treats with me. I've made muffins, cookies, breads, cakes, annnnd taken a few bags of Pittsburgh Popcorn Company twice when I didn't have the time to bake. Though everything has been enjoyed, appreciated, and devoured, one thing is mentioned time and again as being a favorite: the salted brown butter Rice Krispie treats.
My mother-in-law loves those salty sweet cereal squares. Like, puffy heart loves them. Would doodle "Mrs. Salted Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats" all over a notebook if she were still in high school. Would probably even go to war in defense of them.
With Rice Krispie treats and summer night traditions on my mind, I decided to shake things up a bit and make a campfire-inspired dessert: s'mores Rice Krispie treats!
Marshmallow cereal bars are studded up with crushed graham crackers and creamy milk chocolate, bringing to mind that beloved ooey gooey dessert sandwich.
I love that all of the classic s'mores flavors are present but in a slightly less messy form. Less mess means you can sneak seconds (and, shh, thirds!) without drawing too much attention to yourself, especially if you only have the light of the campfire to give you away :)
Include these in whatever fun you have planned for this weekend for a guaranteed good (first wrote "food") time. My stash is packed in the car and ready to go! Fingers crossed they make it across the state undisturbed...
One year ago: Hummus-crusted chicken
Two years ago: Doughnut breakfast sandwich
Three years ago: Loaded twice-baked potatoes
Four years ago: Corn & zucchini salad
S'mores Rice Krispie Treats
(adapted slightly from this recipe)
-makes 16 two-inch squares
A few notes: Ignore the bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips in the photos. I wised up and swapped them for milk chocolate chips at the last minute. That being said, use whatever chocolate excites you, be it milk, dark, semi-sweet, or even white chocolate.
1 (10-ounce) bag marshmallows
1 Tablespoon salted butter (if using unsalted, add a pinch of salt to mix)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups Rice Krispies
1 heaping cup graham cracker pieces
1 heaping cup milk chocolate chips
Sea salt, optional
Coat an 8-inch square pan with nonstick spray and set aside.
In a microwave-safe bowl, melt butter. Add marshmallows, tossing to coat with butter, and vanilla. Microwave for 1 minute, then stir until smooth. If necessary, return to microwave for 15-second intervals until no lumps remain and marshmallows are completed melted
Quickly, add Rice Krispies and graham crackers, stirring until just mixed together. Gently fold in chocolate chips. Pour mixture into prepared pan and press to flatten. Sprinkle top with sea salt, if desired. Allow to cool -- popping pan into fridge for 10 to 15 minutes helps chocolate to set -- completely. Cut into squares and enjoy! Treats can be covered in plastic wrap and kept at room temperature for up to 5 days.