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!


  1. True confessions: I cannot, DARE NOT make these. I could eat a whole pan of them by myself. And that's the ordinary, plain Jane kind, not your Mom's kicked up fancy version. Yum, yum, yum. Every kid deserves these!

    ~ Krista

  2. Yeah, I don't want to admit how many of them I ate this past weekend. Ahem.

  3. Wendy, oh, wow, these are so fabulous! I love Rice Crispy treats but since being GF, I haven't made them in a long time. But now Rice Crispies makes GF cereal. So, wahoo, I'm making these. I'm like Krista, I might have to eat the whole thing. Butterscotch and I have a love affair. :) I loved your memory of bagged lunches and field trips. Special for all kids.

    Good luck with the start of school. And your picture? The pigtails. Too cute!!

    ~Avery aka Daryl

  4. Wendy...Greenfield Village, Toledo Zoo and the D.I.A.? Were you at one time a Michigan girl? All three of those are on our list of favorite destinations here. Though we go to the Detroit Zoo, more often. Thanks for the Mittenland shout outs and a great recipe.