Showing posts with label butterscotch. Show all posts
Showing posts with label butterscotch. Show all posts

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Back-to-School: Fancy Krispie Treats

When the kitchen decided to do a back-to-school week, my first impulse was panic.  I don't have kids, and "back to school" for me is about the start of new classes and a huge rush of work.  Back to school is when I rely on take-out, not when I work magic in the kitchen.

But then I started thinking about my own youth and all the food memories associated with school starting.  I usually ate lunch in the cafeteria.  The cafeteria was a source of perpetual conflict, since they made you drink milk and I HATED milk . . . and stare-offs between me and the cafeteria monitor often ended with me in tears.  I got a break from the cafeteria, though, when we'd go on field trips to places like the Toledo Zoo, and the Detroit Institute of Art, and Greenfield Village.  On field trip days, we'd all load into a line of yellow school buses and head off onto the interstate.

(In retrospect, I cannot imagine how the teachers survived, taking the entire third grade on school buses and corralling us in public for a full day.)

Wendy/Annie - 3rd Grade
On those magical outings, far from the cafeteria, we'd have sack lunch.  Oh, sack lunch!  Bologna sandwiches on white bread with mustard.  A stack of Pringles.  An apple.  A can of soda wrapped in foil to keep it cold.  And dessert.

Sometimes dessert meant a snack cake . . . a Twinkie or a Little Debbie oatmeal cream pie.  But sometimes it meant my mom would make my absolute favorite treat:  her special rice krispie treats!

Krispie treats are, by definition, delicious.  How can you go wrong with sugar, butter, and crunch?  But my mom took genius to a whole new level.  First, she added peanut butter to the krispie mix.  It added that hint of salt that kicks all desserts up a notch.  And then she poured a melted mixture of chocolate and butterscotch chips over the top.  Heaven.

Oh, wow.  After half a day sitting in a warm bus, the chocolate topping would get a little soft and melty, and the whole thing was a block of ooey-chewy wonder.

So thank you to all the teachers who faced down the terror of leaving school grounds and opening up a whole wide world to us, even though I'm sure we were little hellions.  And thank you to my mom, for keeping the Coke cold and never forgetting to include dessert in my sack lunch.

Fancy Krispie Treats

3 Tbs. margarine or butter
7 oz. jar marshmallow fluff
1/2 c. peanut butter
6 c. puffed rice cereal

1 c. butterscotch chips
1 c. chocolate chips

Grease a 9 x 13 pan and line it with parchment or wax paper; grease the paper, too.

Place margarine or butter in a large saucepan over medium low heat until melted.  Add marshmallow fluff and stir until combined.  Add peanut butter and stir until combined.  Remove from heat and stir in the cereal until the cereal is coated with the marshmallow combination.  Turn into the greased pan and flatten/compress until the cereal is a fairly uniform thickness in the pan.

Allow to cool/harden.

Melt the chocolate and butterscotch chips in a bowl set over barely simmering water.  Spread the chocolate mixture over the treat and allow to cool, harden.

Use the wax/parchment paper to lift the treats from the pan.  Cut with a sharp knife and serve!

Friday, September 9, 2011

INGLENEUK BISCUITS

by Sheila Connolly

Since the weather has turned dank and chill, not to mention soggy, my thoughts turn once again to baking. I know, I know—we'll probably get a blazing Indian summer any time now, but I'll sneak this in while I can.

An inglenook is a nook on either side of a large open fireplace—a cozy place to sit and keep warm. I am not responsible for the odd spelling in this recipe, because it originated at the Ingleneuk Tea House in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, a treasured local establishment that the same family operated for over 80 years. Alas, it is no more: the restaurant, which had grown substantially since its founding, was destroyed by fire in 2000. The structure survived but was returned to its original purpose as a single-family home. I lived two blocks down the street from it, and enjoyed its food more than once, as did generations of Swarthmoreans (including James Michener, when he attended Swarthmore College).

Meals at the Ingleneuk were served family style, and featured hearty comfort foods. Only a few of its recipes have survived, including one for creamed spinach, which for some reason I've never understood my daughter really liked. The other is this biscuit recipe. The dough is definitely biscuit-like, but it's nudged toward sticky-bun status by the rich filling. These are definitely best when served quickly, just out of the oven; diners at the restaurant used to fight for them when the servers brought out a new tray.

Ingleneuk Tea House Butterscotch Biscuits

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
2/3 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
2/3 cup whole milk
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
6 Tblsp salted butter, melted


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

With an electric mixer, beat the 2 cups flour, baking powder, salt and shortening at low speed until combined (about 2 minutes).

Gradually beat in enough milk to form a dough firm enough to roll.


In another bowl, mix brown sugar with melted butter until sugar is uniformly moist but not runny.

On a floured surface, roll the dough into a rectangle 8 in. wide and 1/4 in thick (the thinner the dough, the more "spirals" you'll get). Spread the sugar mixture over the dough.

Cut the dough in half lengthwise to form two 4 inch strips. Lightly roll up each half. Cut each roll into 1/2 in slices (you should get 4-5 from each piece) and place the slices in a well-greased 9x9 baking pan. (Note: you'll have to squish the slices in—it will look untidy.)

Bake in a preheated oven until the top is lightly browned, about 20 min.

Remove pan from oven. Let stand for 5 minutes, then turn over onto another greased pan or serving plate (or you can serve them directly from the pan—nobody wants to wait!). Eat while still warm.