March 24, 2014



Gooey and sweet squares of crunchy rice cereal are one of America's favorite treats. Rice Krispies treats are at least 70 years old and they have an Iowa connection.

According to kellogghistory.com, Kellogg's Rice Krispies cereal first showed up on grocery store shelves in 1928. The noisy cereal was instantly popular.

The words Snap! Crackle! Pop! initially appeared in a print ad, then on a cereal box in 1932. The following year the three characters were featured on a radio commercial and also appeared in ads and posters.

The adorable little bakers didn't show up on the Rice Krispies cereal box all together until 1941 as Snap was the one originally featured. Finally Snap, Crackle and Pop made their television debut in 1955, and over the years they have undergone several makeovers.

It is believed around 1939, Mildred Day, the woman credited with the invention of Rice Krispies treats, who was born in Marion County, Iowa, in 1903 and was a graduate of Iowa State University, and her co-worker Malitta Jensen created the sticky treat. The two were working at Kellogg's in Battle Creek, Mich., and modeled the recipe after a similar one that used puffed wheat and molasses. It was Day's idea to use marshmallows instead of messy molasses.

Not too long after the women invented the gooey treats, they were contacted by Camp Fire Girls in Kansas City asking for fundraising ideas. Kellogg's initially called the treats "marshmallow squares" and sent Day by train to Kansas City with a giant mixer and baking trays.

Day made batch after batch of marshmallow squares for many long days. The mothers of the Camp Fire Girls wrapped up the treats and the girls sold them door to door.

In 1941 Kellogg's added the recipe to its Rice Krispies cereal box, and the treats became a popular food to send to military service overseas. Over the years this iconic snack has also been a part of childhood memories of many Americans.

In 2001 during the Veishea celebration at Iowa State University in April, Mildred Day's memory was honored with a humungous Rice Krispies treat that weighed a whopping 2,480 pounds. It was made using 818 pounds of Rice Krispies, 1,466 pounds of marshmallows and 217 pounds of butter.



The Original Treats

Here is Kellogg's classic recipe that has been made generation after generation.

3 tablespoons butter or margarine

1 package (10 oz, about 40) regular marshmallows

4 cups miniature marshmallows

6 cups Rice Krispies

In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. Add Kellogg's Rice Krispies cereal. Stir until well coated. Using buttered spatula or wax paper evenly press mixture into 13x9x2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Cool. Cut into 2-inch squares. Best if served the same day.

Microwave Directions:

In microwave-safe bowl heat butter and marshmallows on high for 3 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes. Stir until smooth. Follow steps 2 and 3 above. Microwave cooking times may vary.

Note:

For best results, use fresh marshmallows.

1 jar (7 oz) marshmallow crème can be substituted for marshmallows.

Diet, reduced calorie or tub margarine is not recommended.

Store no more than two days at room temperature in airtight container.

To freeze, place in layers separated by wax paper in airtight container. Freeze for up to 6 weeks.

Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.



Chocolate Yummies

For a sweet tooth that involves chocolate, this ooey, gooey treat will do the trick. Not only does is it made of Rice Krispies and marshmallows, it also includes graham crackers, peanut butter and chocolate chips.

7 crackers Keebler Grahams Original

2 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows

1 pkg (12 oz, 2 cups) semi-sweet chocolate morsels

2/3 cup light corn syrup

3 tablespoons butter or margarine

1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter

3 cups Rice Krispies®

Microwave Directions:

Coat a 13x9x2-inch microwave-safe dish with cooking spray. Arrange graham crackers in single layer in dish, breaking crackers as needed to fit. Sprinkle marshmallows evenly over crackers.

Microwave on high 1 minute or until marshmallows are puffy. Remove from microwave. Cool completely.

In a 2-quart microwave-safe mixing bowl combine chocolate morsels, corn syrup and butter. Microwave on high about 1 1/2 minutes or until chocolate is melted, stirring every 30 seconds. Stir in peanut butter. Add Rice Krispies cereal, mixing until combined.

Spread evenly over marshmallows. Cover and refrigerate about 1 hour or until firm. Cut and store in airtight container in refrigerator.

Conventional Directions:

Follow step 1 above using 13x9x2-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375 degrees for about 7 minutes or until marshmallows are puffy. Cool completely. In medium saucepan combine chocolate morsels, corn syrup and butter. Cook stirring constantly, over medium-low heat until melted. Remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter. Add cereal, mixing until combined. Complete as in steps above.

Note: Each cracker sheet measures about 5x2 inches and is scored into 4 pieces.



Nutella Rice Krispie Treats

Nutella, an Italian hazelnut spread with a hint of chocolate, is a rich and creamy way to change up traditional Rice Krispies treats.

When I saw the recipe on ohbiteit.com, I knew I had to try it. I have been a fan of Nutella since I first tried it in junior high.

6 cups Rice Krispies

40 regular sized marshmallows

3 tablespoons butter

1 cup of Nutella

In a double boiler over medium heat melt the marshmallows and butter. Stir until smooth, and then swirl in the Nutella.

In a large bowl add the Rice Krispies and then add the marshmallow mixture. Stir well.

Pour the mixture into a greased pan. Let them set up until they're totally cool. If you wish, spread the top of treats with more Nutella.



Hidden Surprise Easter Egg Treats

Surprise your little bunnies and chicks this Easter with a Rice Krispies egg filled with candy. These eggs are just as fun to make as they are to eat.

12 plastic snap-apart 3x2-in Easter eggs

3 tablespoons butter or margarine

1 package (10 oz, about 40) regular marshmallows

4 cups miniature marshmallows

6 cups Rice Krispies cereal

1/2 cup M&M'S Chocolate Candies

canned frosting or decorating gel (optional)

Clean, then coat inside of plastic eggs with cooking spray. Set aside.

In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add miniature marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. Add Rice Krispies cereal. Stir until well coated.

Using greased hands, firmly press 1/4 cup of the cereal mixture into each plastic egg half. Use fingers to make hollow center in each half. Remove from molds. Place on wax paper. Cool slightly.

Place about 6 M&M'S in one half of each egg. Gently press two halves of each egg together until they stick. Cool completely.

Decorate with frosting and additional M&M'S (if desired). Best if served the same day.

(Microwave Directions):

Follow step the first step above. In microwave-safe bowl heat butter and marshmallows on high for 3 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes. Stir until smooth. Follow steps remaining steps above. Microwave cooking times may vary.