Just as I’m preparing to wax poetic about Virginia ham, it’s time to take a break from writing about the 50 Plates of America.
Why? Two reasons.
The first is that I’m helping a friend out by developing recipes, drafting a cookbook (a small e-book, nothing fancy) and catering her fundraiser at the end of March. The catering isn’t half so daunting as that cookbook writing thing. Her organization uses Motocross to reach and serve at-risk youth, so we’re doing something I call “elevated pit food.” I’ll share information and recipes as the project bumps along.
The second is my poor Achilles tendon, the one I originally injured a number of years ago while running for a bus. In Las Vegas. On Halloween night. Long story, but I’m finally conceding that I’m just not as tough as I think I am and having the damn thing repaired. Surgically. Which requires 6-8 weeks in a cast followed by 6-8 weeks in a boot. On the plus side, I’ve been assured that after completion of cast, boot, and physical therapy, it won’t hurt anymore. I’m ready for it to not hurt anymore.
So, although I’m putting Virginia on hold for a bit, lets consider this a side trip instead of a complete losing of my way. And who knows, maybe I’ll be ready to attack a ham sooner than I think I will. In the meantime, let’s start this side trip with something completely different: Bourbon Cocoa Krispy treats.
Rice Krispy treats are pretty simple, and require only 3 ingredients: marshmallows, puffed rice cereal, and a bit of butter. Melt the marshmallows, stir in the butter, mix into the cereal and ta-da! Rice Krispy treats.
Unless you’re, you know, me. In which case you start by making your own marshmallow fluff not because you’ll only eat home-made marshmallow fluff, but because you’ve never done it before and want to know how hard it could be.
And then fluff-making becomes an obsession.
And then you start adding things (like bourbon) to the fluff.
And the next thing you know, you’re showing up to your book club with a huge plate of gooey, sticky, bourbon-infused Cocoa Krispy treats that are the life of the party all by themselves. Let the record reflect that I didn’t want to share them. But I did. Because I’m nice that way…or maybe because the plate was wrenched out of my hand and emptied before I could get a word in. One of those.
Also, just a quick note–adding booze to marshmallow fluff makes a fairly thin product. Be sure to refrigerate your treats before serving, or they won’t hang together (that said, I think the loose bourbonized cereal bits would make a killer ice cream topping).
1 egg white
3/4 cup corn syrup
3/4 cup powdered sugar
pinch of salt
In a large, clean mixing bowl beat together the egg white and corn syrup (I’m curious about making this with golden cane syrup) until fluffy, glossy, and doubled in volume. I’ve tried both the paddle and whisk attachments; either works, though the whisk is better at building volume.
Add a pinch of salt and 3/4 cup powdered (confectioner’s) sugar; beat until smooth
If you’re making the chocolate bourbon fluff, add
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar (to total a full cup)
1/4 cup bourbon
1/8 cup cocoa powder
and continue beating. It won’t be as dense or sticky after you’ve added the bourbon no matter how much confectioner’s sugar you add. I’m sure a chemist could explain this reaction.
To Make the Treats
- Melt 2 Tbs of butter in a heavy pot
- Add fluff mixture, stir over medium heat for 2 minutes
- Pour in Cocoa Krispies (I don’t know how much I used; I just poured them straight from the box, stirring gently until I didn’t have any fluff left)
- Pour into a large, buttered pan.
- Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes before serving–this is a complete departure from classic Rice Krispy treats, but it’s the only way they’re going to stay together.
They’re good. Very, very good. Be sure to refrigerate any leftovers.