No, that's not the sound of snow laden branches falling on power lines in the Northeast, but one of America's most recognized cereal, that I have incorporated in my baking today, with a new purpose! Rice Krispies, created by Clayton Rindisbacher for Kellog's in 1927 and released to the public in 1928, is a rice and sugar paste mixed to form "berries," then cooked, dried, and toasted to become a thin, hallowed shape that is crispy and crunchy.
I chose this ingredient today to bake in honor of my mother, who passed away on November 4, 1987--24 years ago tomorrow, from a brain tumor and like Kelly, way too early. Helen Margaret was born on February 6, 1920 to Frank and Gladys Huekels in Washington, D.C. My grandfather was in the Marines and with each of his deployments my mother got to experience other parts of the country while growing up. One of her favorite places she lived in, was Honolulu, Hawaii, when her father was stationed at Pearl Harbor in 1927--see the connection to Rice Krispies :). Before her passing in 1987, I had my first trip to Hawaii and she wanted to know if the Royal Hawaiian Hotel was still there. She said she would always remember the beautiful pink building, nestled among the palm trees and as a child--to her it looked magical.
She also loved German's Chocolate Cake for her birthday and so with this in mind I have created a cookie that includes a bar of Baker's German's Sweet Chocolate along with a coconut milk Krispie Crunch to simulate that dessert. Cereal crunch is not my creation, but that of Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar in New York City. She makes a Cornflake Crunch in her cookbook Milk and it gave me the idea to change my favorite cereal into a unique form to add to my cookies. I put my twist on it by using Coconut Milk Powder instead of non-fat milk powder, which is what her cornflake crunch calls for. German's Chocolate Cake is so good because of its rich coconut, sweetened condensed milk topping and I wanted to make sure the taste of coconut came through loud and clear. You will have some Krispie Crunch leftover from what is called for in my recipe, but like Christina's Cornflake Crunch, use it as a topping on ice cream, parfaits, or yogurt...to name a few.
7 cups (about 1/2 of a 12-oz. box) of Rice Krispies
1/2 cup Coconut Milk Powder
2 T granulated sugar
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cup (12 T) unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 275F-degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, add the Rice Krispies and with your fists, press down to break them up some. (If you use a large Pyrex 8-quart measuring bowl, like I did, I noticed the 7 cups became 5 cups with my compressions.) Add the sugar, coconut milk and salt and mix together. Pour the melted butter over and mix well--make sure the ingredients are fully saturated. Spread mixture on the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, stirring the mixture half way through the baking time to make sure you have even toasting. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before adding to the cookie dough.
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
2 tsp. Vanilla extract (or 1 tsp. Vanilla Paste, which is what I used)
1/2 tsp. Coconut flavoring
1 1/2 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups Krispie Crunch
1 cup sweetened coconut
1 4-oz. bar German's Sweet Chocolate Bar, chopped
In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars for 2-3 minutes, until the sugars are fully incorporated. Add the egg and Vanilla and coconut flavoring and beat on low to incorporate, then turn the mixer to med/high and beat for 6-8 minutes until the batter is light and fluffy.
Scrape down the sides.
Add the dry ingredients and mix on low just until incorporated. Don't over mix! Finally, add the Krispie Crunch, coconut and chopped chocolate and mix or stir to incorporate. Scrape the sides and make sure all ingredients are mixed in.
Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper and using a 2-tablespoon scoop, measure out the cookie dough on it. Place the scoops side-by-side (this is also a technique of Christina's) to chill the dough. Cover with plastic wrap, flattening the tops slightly and refrigerate the "scoops" for 2-3 hours or even overnight.
Preheat oven to 375F-degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment. Remove cookies from the refrigerator and place on prepared sheets, 2-inches apart (for spreading).
Bake cookies for 6 minutes, then, rotate pan to bake another 6 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are browned and the centers are cooked. Allow to cool about 5 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a rack to cool completely.
These cookies are crispy and crunchy just like the cereal, although even with dipping into a glass of milk, you won't hear the familiar--Snap, Crackle & Pop, but you can use your imagination. Enjoy!
The Give-Away apron celebrates Thanksgiving--the harvest and families coming together. I fell in love with the main fabric; pumpkins, cornucopias and colorful fall leaves. I hope it puts a smile on your face and all you have to do is visit and leave a comment. I will be drawing the name early because I have to be away after Thanksgiving. Good Luck.