Rice Krispie Trees and a Holiday Wish

I’ve been slacking off. But, everyone else is baking up goodies this time of year and I really don’t need to be eating more sweets. I’ve decided to take the time to reflect on the year and my goals. But, I will leave you with some pretty Rice Krispie Trees and pictures from a few Holiday treats before my official hiatus until after the New Year!

First, the Krispie Treat Trees!
100_4377100_4363They’re super easy!
You’ll need the basic krispie recipe:

10oz marshmallows
1 stick butter
6 cups crisp rice cereal

Add
green food coloring
Sprinkles
Miniature Reese’s Cups
Large Star Sprinkles
Frosting or candy melts

You’ll also need a funnel. The size depends on how tall you want your trees to be, but I chose a medium sized funnel with a medium spout because I found the medium spout actually created a better point on the trees.

100_4353 I wore gloves and sprayed the inside of the funnel with a little bit of cooking spray, just to be safe.100_4354 I gathered up some of the green krispie mixture and pushed it gently into the funnel making sure there was just a little bit at the spout100_4355 I formed a flat bottom and didn’t fill the funnel all the way because I didn’t want my trees that big, but it’s up to you if you want large and full trees, then fill to the edges!100_4356 Next, I emptied out the funnel by turning it upside down on parchment. The tree should fall right out.100_4357And there you have it! But, it’s far from being a decorated tree.100_4362 I sprinkled on some small round sprinkles while the trees were still warm. If they don’t stick well, spray the trees with a bit of melted butter or water. You don’t want to spray it with a lot, just enough to get the sprinkles to stick. If you stick them right away then you shouldn’t need anything to make them adhere.100_4375 I also used large star sprinkles for the tree topper. And, unwrapped a miniature Reese’s Cup and stuck it to the bottom (like a tree trunk) with a bit of buttercream. You can also use candy melts to get the cup to stick.100_4376 100_4379I didn’t choose to do so, but if you like working with candy melts (and I don’t) then you could even melt some in a piping bag with a very small tip and use it to ‘string’ lights (sprinkles?) or “tinsel” around the trees. Once you have the basic form of the tree, the decorations are completely up to you! You can even have the little ones decorate their own trees!

I leave you with some other festive ideas:

100_4374 A snowman cupcake. Use white buttercream, white sanding sugar, sprinkles and colored frostings to make happy snowman faces. I hand placed the sprinkle mouth, but got lazy with the nose and eyes (they should be black and orange, but I didn’t have time to make lots of different colored frostings, especially when I was only making two of these as a test!)100_4373 Since most of my cupcakes domed when baked, I took advantage of the peaking tops and frosted it like a ‘tree’. The krispie treats turned out more like trees than this cupcake did, but it was still festive and tasty.100_4412 Finally, my family ALWAYS makes these sugar cookies (recipe to follow in the new year!). 100_4416 100_4428100_4430 And we wrapped up the trees individually, added some of my mom’s fudge, my Reindeer Chow, and some freebies from Chik-Fil-A and100_4423Made some cute goody bags to hand out.
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So- whatever you celebrate, have a happy and joyous time with friends and family!

I’m wishing a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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Rice Krispie Treat Pumpkins


100_3769It’s Autumn and that means Halloween, pumpkin spice everything, beautiful leaves, days at the apple orchard, cool mornings… basically everything I love about the year- expect for the pumpkin stuff. I must be the only person around that hates pumpkin. But, I despise it. You can keep your pumpkin bread, your pumpkin pie, your pumpkin cookies…. yuck. I HATE cooked apples too. At least those I’ll willingly eat raw- but the pumpkin grosses me out every time.

At least with hating strawberries, I know what traumatic experience led to my hatred. Pumpkins are innocent enough, it seems. I don’t have a fear of pumpkins, I was never forced to eat it as a kid… I just don’t like it. But, I know that others do, and if there is a need for it, I will make the treats for others- as long as I’m in a well-ventilated area. 😉

BUT- these Rice Krispie Treat Pumpkins I can get behind. There is absolutely no PUMPKIN in them. They’re just colored orange and shaped like a pumpkin. I can handle that. (I do also love the Reese’s Peanut Butter Pumpkins- but that’s another story.) I’ve seen several recipes floating around the web, so I’m not sure who to attribute them to, but the general krispie treat recipe remains pretty much unchanged throughout many, many years of making them. You can find a basic recipe on the Rice Krispie cereal box or on the back of the marshmallow bag.

I’ve never actually shaped cereal treats before. I know that several professional cake decorators use them in some of the more extreme cakes- but I hadn’t worked with them myself. I’ve only ever mixed it up and pushed it into a pan and cut! Turns out- shaping them isn’t that much harder.

I thought I’d have to work super fast so they wouldn’t set up on me- but even slightly warm they’re pliable. Besides, one of the best reasons to make these into pumpkins? Pumpkins are often oddly shaped!

So, this recipe starts out simple– your basic Rice Krispie Treat mix- with one twist– orange food coloring!
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I cut my recipe in half, but you are more than fine if making an extra large batch for a Halloween party!

100_3747One 10oz bag of mini marshmallows, 1/2 stick of butter, 6 cups of Rice Krispies cereal

100_3754Not really anything exciting yet- until you start to melt the marshmallows. I use the stove-top method. Now, you can always add a mixture of red and yellow food coloring to get your orange color, but I just find it easier to use the Wilton gel colors. I find it also provides a more vibrant color, but it’s up to you which food color method you’d like to use. I added my coloring once the butter was melted and right before I put in my marshmallows. You could wait until after the marshmallows are melted, because it really doesn’t make much difference as long as you add it before the cereal.

100_3752

You’ll want to stir that up really well to coat all the cereal in the marshmallow mixture.

100_3757Then the fun begins! While the mixture was still hot, I donned some food-safe gloves to protect my hands from the heat to and prevent my hands from getting messy. Yes, I prefer to wear gloves when digging in with my hands into anything. It’s not only easier for clean up, but I find it far more sanitary. So, don your gloves, or don’t, and form the mixture into balls. They can be any size you want, but don’t go too large. I found a golf ball size was perfect.

100_3758I put them on parchment to set up before I inserted the stems. These ‘stems’ were made from Tootsie Rolls!

100_3746That I cut in half:

100_3745And shoved into the top of the ‘pumpkins’.

100_3760Then I mixed up some green frosting. You can use store bought green in a tube or color store bought frosting green with your food coloring. Again, I use Wilton Gels, this time in Kelly Green.

100_3765

100_3767

I used a small leaf tip- in this instance the Wilton 66.100_3761

And piped on leaves. Some ‘pumpkins’ got two, others just one. Do whatever feels right. The amount of Tootsie Rolls and frosting will all depend on the size of your pumpkins. If you make them larger, you may want to use a whole Tootsie Roll inserted into the ball.100_3775100_3776

Bottom line:

These are super easy, fun, and festive! As long as you let the mixture cool to be easier to handle- you could probably even have the kids help you out on this one!

Recipe:

Ingredients:

1/2 stick of butter
10oz marshmallows
6 cups Rice Krispie Cereal (or similar brand)
Orange Food Color OR Red and yellow food color
Tootsie Rolls (halved)
Green Decorator Frosting

Directions:

1- In a large pot or large bowl, melt butter completely. Do not brown.
2- Add food coloring
3- Stir in marshmallows over medium high heat or several 30 second intervals in the microwave, being sure to stir frequently (after each 30 second interval) until all marshmallows are melted. Remove from heat.
4- Slowly add the Rice Krispie cereal into the mixture, stirring to coat completely.
5- Carefully, as the mixture will be hot, use a scoop or your hands to form the marshmallow/cereal mixture into balls about the size of a golf ball. You can go larger if you wish. Set on parchment to cool.
6- Once you’ve rolled all your balls and they’ve cooled, cut Tootsie Rolls in half to make the ‘stem’. Use 1/2 Tootsie Roll per pumpkin.
7- Pipe green frosting leaves onto the pumpkins as desired.