Pumpkin Spice Crispy Treats

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Hey there! I hope you had a great weekend. Mine was wonderful, just too short. I could always use one more day. If someone ran a presidential campaign on the platform of a nationwide 3 day weekend they would have my vote. Sadly I think all hope is lost on that front for this election. At least homemade treats make a pretty good consolation prize. I did have time  this weekend to make this fun, seasonal update on the classic Rice Krispie Treat. Which is a good thing and a bad thing. Good because they are delicious. Bad because…they are delicious and I keep eating them. Pumpkin Spice Cheerios and white chocolate chips turn this childhood classic into a delightful autumn treat. These Pumpkin Spice Crispy Treats would be a great fall baking project to make with young kiddos for Halloween. No complicated measuring or prolonged baking time. Just melt, stir, pour and slice. Easy peasy.

I’m sure you don’t need too much in the way of directions for these treats, since they follow the tried and true Rice Krispie Treat method. However, I will offer a couple of tips. First, learn from my mistakes and mix the cereal with the melted marshmallows in the pan you use to melt the marshmallows. I did the opposite- I poured the melted marshmallows into a bowl with the cereal/chocolate chip mixture and it almost cooled before I had thoroughly mixed everything. If you mix in the pan, the residual heat will keep the marshmallow warm enough to evenly coat the cereal. Next, these are most easily sliced if  you spray your knife with some nonstick cooking spray. That way you’re sure to get clean edges. Finally, if you can’t find Pumpkin Spice Cheerios (I bought the last box at my store. Sorry, neighbors!), you could also use Apple Cinnamon Cheerios. Or use plain Cheerios or Rice Krispies and add 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice to the butter/marshmallow mixture.

I decorated individual squares with mellowcreme pumpkins, since I’m a sucker for those little things. If you put them on while the treats are still warm they’ll stick. Sliced up and put in individual cellophane treat bags, these would be great for a fall bake sale or class party. One last thing- this recipe uses a bag and half of marshmallows, which means you’ll have half a bag leftover. If you’re wondering what to do with the extra, take a peek at my recipe for S’mores Tarts. Enjoy!

pumpkin-spice-crispy-treatsPumpkin Spice Crispy Treats

Ingredients:

  • 9 cups (1 box) Pumpkin Spice Cheerios*
  • 2 cups (1 bag) white chocolate chips
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 15 oz (1 1/2 bags) marshmallows
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions:

In large bowl, toss cheerios and white chocolate chips.

Prepare 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

In large stockpot, melt butter over medium low heat. Once butter is melted, add marshmallows and stir continuously until marshmallows are completely melted. Add vanilla extract and stir to incorporate. Take stockpot off heat. Add cheerios and white chocolate chips and stir until cereal mixture is well coated in marshmallow. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish and  press into even layer. (Spray cooking spray on your hands or spatula to make this task less messy.)

Allow treats to cool, then cut into squares. To cut cleanly, spray nonstick cooing spray on knife.

Makes about 24 treats, more or less depending on how sliced.

*If you cannot find Pumpkin Spice Cheerios, you can use Apple Cinnamon Cheerios. Alternatively, use either regular Cheerios or Rice Krispies and add 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice to marshmallow mixture before adding cereal.

Pumpkin Spice Crispy Treats

 

S’Mores Tarts

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I’m not really what you would call an outdoorsy kinda gal. Camping has never been my thing. When I was in sixth grade, my class spent a week at Camp Fitch, a local youth camp. While my peers were hiking, riding and archery-ing (?), I was getting stuck in the middle of a pond in a canoe. For real. They had to send one of the counselors out to get me. I was also picked last in gym class, in case that isn’t clear.

My point is that I do not have significant camping experience, nor do I have many memories of making s’mores ’round the campfire. At beach bonfires, yes. In the living room fireplace, of course. In the microwave… let’s not talk about it. However, being an indoor girl can have some perks. Take, for example, these s’mores tarts. You couldn’t make these babies at a camp site.  Flaky, buttery puff pastry and sweet, smooth cookie spread act like a little blush and mascara to elevate the yummy, but predictable, s’more into something spectacular. These are s’mores all dolled up.

Store-bought puff pastry is cut into squares, scored around the edges and baked. Spread Biscoff or a similar cookie spread on pastry, then top with chocolate. Pop the tarts back into the oven for a couple of minutes to melt the chocolate, then top with marshmallows and stick under the broiler until sufficiently charred. The resulting tarts are just as gooey, sweet and delicious (and messy) as their campfire counterpart, but feel a bit more special and sophisticated. They’re fancy enough to serve at a dinner party but simple enough to make on a weeknight. Inside.

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S’Mores Tarts

Ingredients:

  • 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed (half of one package)
  • 4 full size Hershey bars
  • 1/4 cup Biscoff spread (or similar cookie spread)
  • 20 marshmallows

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400°. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat, or spray with cooking spray.

Cut puff pastry into 4 even squares and place on baking sheet. With a paring knife, score each square about 1/2 inch from edge. Do not cut all the way through, just about half. With the tines of a fork, prick the inner square of the pastry. Do not prick outer edge. Bake pastry squares for about 10 minutes, until lightly brown. Remove from oven.

Spread about 1/2 tablespoon Biscoff on interior square of each piece of pastry, pressing down the center if it is overly puffy. Top Biscoff with 1/2 a Hershey bar. Place pastry squares back into the oven 1-2 minutes, until chocolate is softened. Remove from oven.

Turn on broiler. Place 5 marshmallows on top of each square. Once broiler is heated, place tarts back in oven and broil until the marshmallows are charred, about 2-4 minutes, depending on the strength and proximity of your broiler. Watch closely, as the marshmallows can burn quickly. Remove from oven when marshmallows are sufficiently charred. Allow to cool until tarts can be handled, then serve warm.

Makes 8 tarts. Recipe can easily be doubled.