Brown Butter Rice Krispy Treats

Sometimes it's nice to stick to the classics. It's been a while since I made Rice Krispy treats but they never disappoint. It's kind of amazing how the Rice Krispy cereal brand has made itself inseparable from the idea of making a puffed rice treat. Who knew the pinnacle of brand recognition would be covered in melted marshmallows? 

With only three ingredients to work with - I gave the butter a more complex flavor by browning it first. If you've never had browned butter - its taste is often described as slightly nutty. Of course adding the stick and chocolate drizzle made for a fun presentation but I could've 100% eaten these treats alone.  Both without chocolate and by myself - don't tempt me with a good time! 

Brown Butter Rice Krispy Treats | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)
Rice Krispy Treats | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)
Brown Butter Rice Krispy Treats | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)
Brown Butter Rice Krispy Treats | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)

Brown Butter Rice Krispy Treats

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 10oz bag of mini marshmallows
  • 5 cups of Rice Krispy cereal
  • Chocolate sauce (optional)
  • Treat sticks (optional) 

Directions:

  1. Place Rice Krispy cereal in a large bowl. Set aside. 
  2. Line an 8x8 square baking dish with tin foil so it overhangs on each side. Spray the tinfoil with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Brown the butter by melting it in a sauce pan until it turns a light amber color
  4. Remove from heat and add marshmallows. Stir with a rubber spatula until smooth and melted. You can place over burner and let residual heat melt it down if you need a bit of help. 
  5. Pour the butter-marshmallow mixture over the cereal and mix until evenly coated
  6. Transfer to the baking dish and press down firmly. It is important to make these bars as solid as possible. The easiest way to do this is to spray a rubber spatula with cooking spray so the spatula won't stick to the marshmallow as you are pressing down.
  7. Allow to set at room temperature for 1-2 hours or speed up the process in the fridge.
  8. Cut into rectangles and insert sticks. You can also drizzle with chocolate sauce if desired. 
Brown Butter Rice Krispy Treats | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)

Honeysuckle Olive Oil Ice Cream with Chocolate Shell

Honey Suckle Olive Oil Ice Cream | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)

I have deep nostalgia for picking honeysuckle during my childhood. I was maybe eight or nine years old and given free reign to play wherever I wanted within a three block radius. My best friend and I were partners in crime - we built giant snow piles in the fall, huddled under makeshift igloos in the winter, and in the spring rode our bikes with chocolate milkshakes in one hand to explore the nearest park. The summer was special. We would sneak to her neighbor's yard where walls of honeysuckle bushes, in my memory at least three times my height, lined the house bursting with the sweet smell of honeysuckle blossoms. She taught me how to pinch the end and slowly pull back to reveal the  "string" and continue carefully pulling until the center, acting as a plunger, reached the end and brought with it a single droplet of sweet nectar.  We would stay there, picking flowers and tasting nectar until we spotted the neighbors and made our swift exit - giggling the whole way home. 

I was running around the reservoir across the street from our house this summer and the familiar smell of honeysuckle hit me hard. I didn't see any flowers and at first I thought I had imagined it, but they say scent is the closest tied sense to memory and I knew they were there.

The next week I went back with a friend to find the honeysuckle blossoms and tracking only with my nose, we found two bushes ripe with flowers. This time it was my turn. I taught her how to pinch the end, pull back the string, and taste the single sweet drop that made it all worth it. We picked the bushes clean and brought our haul home. Together, we infused the blossoms into olive oil and let it intensify for six weeks. I then spun it into ice cream made with local milk and cream. The result was intensely floral with the mellow taste of olive oil coming through with every spoonful. Dark chocolate was the perfect balance to add a bitter note and counteract the sweetness. 

This ice cream is extremely special to me. It transports me back to my childhood where I didn't have any cares except what new adventure we were going on that afternoon. It connects me to my current environment and makes me appreciate that time I put in to create something collaborative.  I can't get enough of this ice cream and if honeysuckle was a part of your childhood or something you've never had before, you won't regret this unique recipe. 

Honey Suckle Olive Oil Ice Cream | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)
Honey Suckle Olive Oil Ice Cream | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)
Honey Suckle Olive Oil Ice Cream | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)

Honeysuckle Olive Oil
makes 4-6oz

  1. Measure 1 cup of honeysuckle blossoms and use a glass measuring cup to pack the blossoms down tightly. Don't worry if some of the blossoms get crushed during this step.
  2. Pour the blossoms into a large plastic bag and seal it; squeezing out as much air as possible. Lay the bag out on on a solid surface, shaking the blossoms so they fall in a single layer inside the bag. I used my vacuum sealer to get a super good air-tight seal during this step. 
  3. Roll a rolling pin over the blossoms, until they are bruised and begin to break. You are aiming to break the petals up, not pulverize the blossoms completely. 
  4. Dump the blossoms into a wide mouthed mason jar. 
  5. Warm 1 cup of olive oil to about 150 degrees (I used a candy thermometer for this step)
  6. Pour the warmed olive oil over the blossoms in the jar, and stir with a clean butter knife to remove any air bubbles.
  7. Allow the oil to cool (30-45 minutes) and then seal the jar tightly. Cooling the oil will prevent condensation from forming inside the jar
  8. Place the jar in a cool, dark place for 6-8 weeks. The back of the pantry is idea - just don't forget about it!
  9. Strain the solid materials from the oil using a coffee filter, fine cheesecloth, or fine mesh sieve. 
  10. Pour the remaining oil into small, dark-colored bottles with a good seal. The dark bottles keep light from reaching the oil which can turn it rancid. Oil can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to six months. 

Honeysuckle Olive Oil Ice Cream

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1+1//2 oz (3tbsp) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup honeysuckle olive oil

Directions:

  1. Mix about 2 tablespoons of milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry
  2. Whisk the cream cheese and salt in a medium bowl until smooth and set aside
  3. Fill a large bowl with ice and water and set aside
  4. Combine the remaining milk, the cream, sugar, and corn syrup in a 4-quart saucepan, bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 4 minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in cornstarch slurry
  6. Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium-high and cookie, stirring with a heatproof spatula, until lightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. 
  7. Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. All the honeysuckle olive oil and whisky until well blended.
  8. Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon zip top freeze bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as needed, until cold, about 30 minutes
  9. Pour the ice cream based into the frozen canister and spin until thick and creamy. My KitchenAid ice cream attachment took about 20 minutes
  10. Pack the ice cream into a storage container and press a piece of parchment paper directly against the surface, and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours (I find it's best overnight)

Ice Cream Recipe adapted from Jeni's Spendid Ice Creams at Home

Chocolate "Magic" Shell:

  • 1 cup 72% dark chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil

Melt the chocolate and coconut oil together in a double boiler or heat proof bowl set over 1" of boiling water. Stir until melted and smooth. Allow to cool completely before putting over ice cream. Store at room temperature.

Honey Suckle Olive Oil Ice Cream | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)


Boston Blackout Cake

Boston Blackout Cake | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)

Chocolate on chocolate on chocolate! This week I did a riff on something called Brooklyn Blackout Cake.  This type of cake is made up of a devil's food cake, chocolate pudding filling, chocolate frosting, and a coating of chocolate cake crumbs covering the whole creation. I love the idea of this rich chocolate overload - but wanted to make it my own. What makes mine a Boston Blackout Cake? One of my layers of filling is vanilla pudding as homage to the classic Boston Creme Pie. I chose to cover mine in chocolate sprinkles because of love the texture of a sprinkle covered cake and wanted to try out the technique. It's harder than it looks! If you can picture someone doing a splatter painting, hurling their paint filled brush at a white canvas - that's what I felt like sticking sprinkles to my coating of fudge frosting! This cake has a lot of parts that require refrigerating throughout the process so give yourself a full day or a weekend to make it. It will be worth the chocolate bliss in the end! 

Boston Blackout Cake | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)
Boston Blackout Cake | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)
Boston Blackout Cake | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)

Boston Blackout Cake

Devil's Food Cake
2 cups all-purpose  flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups water
1/4 cup milk

1.  Preheat to 350 degrees F. Spray three 6" cake pans with non-stick spray. You can also line with parchment round and spray.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
3. With an electric mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until smooth; slowly add the sugar. Continue beating until light and smooth
4. Add the cocoa powder and vanilla and beat at medium speed to combine
5. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for 1 minute between each addition.
6. Combine the water and milk in a saucepan and bring just to a boil. Remove from the heat.
7. With the mixer at low speed, alternate between adding the flour mixture, and hot liquid into the batter. (Will be watery)
8. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Lightly drop each pan onto the counter to settle the batter.
9. Bake about 22-25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
10. Level the layers while cake is still warm with a serrated knife or cake leveler. When cool, wrap layers in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. 

Dark Chocolate Pudding
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons of cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
1-½ cups whole milk
3-oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. In  a small heavy saucepan, mix sugar, cornstarch and salt. Whisk in milk.
2. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly - about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low; cook and stir 2 minutes longer.
3. Stir in chocolate until melted. Transfer to a bowl; stir in vanilla. Cool slightly, stirring occasionally.
4. Press plastic wrap onto surface of pudding. Refrigerate, covered, 2 hours or until cold.

Vanilla Pudding
2 cups milk
½ cup white sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon butter

1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat milk until bubbles form at edges. In a bowl, combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
2. Pour into hot milk, a little at a time, stirring to dissolve. Continue to cook and stir until mixture thickens, about 5-6 minutes. Do not boil. 
3, 
Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and butter. Transfer to a bowl and press plastic wrap onto surface of pudding. Refrigerate, 2 hours or until cold

Dark Chocolate Frosting
8-oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
½ cup unsalted butter, cubed
⅓ cup hot water
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar

1. In a double boiler, melt down chocolate and butter until smooth
2. Remove from heat and add the hot water immediately
3. Add corn syrup and vanilla extract
4. Sift in powdered sugar and refrigerate 25-30 minutes until spreadable

1+1/2 cup Chocolate Sprinkles 

Boston Blackout Cake | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)

Assembly:

1. Place first layer on an 8" cake board, spoon out chocolate pudding on top the first layer. It should be about 1/4" thick. Don't put so much that it spills out the sides when you will add more layers. 
2. Place the second layer on top of the chocolate pudding. Spoon out vanilla pudding on top of the second layer. 
3. Place the second layer on top of the third layer. Refrigerate un-iced layers for 10 minutes. 
4. Spread a thin layer of frosting all over the cake, this is just to lock in the crumbs. Refrigerate for 5 minutes. 
5. Ice the cake with a smooth second layer of frosting.
6. Before frosting can "set", place the cake in a rectangular baking dish or pan. 
7. Coat the cake in chocolate sprinkles, the baking dish will catch the ones that don't stick.
8. Use the extra chocolate frosting to pipe a boarder around the bottom of the cake

*I used 70% Stoneground Organic Taza Chocolate instead of semi-sweet

 

Photos by: Zac Wolf Photography

Lemon Cheesecake + Blueberry-Rose Swirl

Lemon Cheesecake + Blueberry-Rose Swirl | Beca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)

As hard as I tried, I was not able to use up the 2lbs of blueberries that we picked at the berry farm. I made blueberry crumbs bars, blueberry smoothies, blueberry pancakes, blueberry pie, and now a blueberry-rose swirled lemon cheesecake!! And can you believe I was still left with about 4 cups of beautiful fresh blueberries? I finally put up my white flag - and succumbed to my vacuum sealer. These berries will be protected from freezer burn and ready to use at a later date. 

In the meantime, I'll turn my attention to this wonderful Lemon Cheesecake with Blueberry-Rose Swirl. I highly recommend making your own graham crackers from scratch for the crust as it really does taste more homemade. I love the whimsical swirl pattern that comes from the syrup and the contrast between the citrus hued cheesecake and rich blueberry color. I don't think i'll ever have an ill word to say against cheesecake..

Lemon Cheesecake + Blueberry-Rose Swirl | Beca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)
Lemon Cheesecake + Blueberry-Rose Swirl | Beca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)
Lemon Cheesecake + Blueberry-Rose Swirl | Beca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)

Lemon Cheesecake + Blueberry-Rose Swirl 
One 9" cheesecake

Ingredients:

Graham Cracker Crust:
-2 cups graham cracker crumbs, store-bought or homemade
-4-6 Tablespoons of butter, melted
-Pinch of salt

Lemon Cheesecake Filling
-1 1/4 cups sugar
-Zest of one lemon
-1/4 cup juice from 1-2 lemons
-1 1/2 pounds (3 8-oz. packages) cream cheese, cut into 1 inch chunks, at room temperature
-4 large eggs, at room temperature
-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1/2 cup heavy cream

Blueberry-Rose Syrup:
-2 teaspoons cornstarch
-1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
-1 Tablespoon warm water
-2 cups fresh blueberries
-2 Tablespoons rose simple syrup

Directions:

Graham Cracker Crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Combine graham cracker crumbs with melted butter and salt. Crumbs should hold together when you press them with your fist, if not, add some more butter. 
  3. Press graham cracker crust into springform pan
  4. Bake for 10 minutes until crust is dry, allow to cool completely before filling

Blueberry-Rose Syrup:

  1. Whisk the cornstarch, lemon juice, and warm water together in a small bowl until the cornstarch has dissolved. Set aside.
  2. Warm the blueberries and rose simple syrup together in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Stir continuously for 3 minutes until the blueberry juices begin to release. Add the cornstarch mixture and continue to stir for another 2-3 minutes, smashing some blueberries as you go. The mixture will start to thicken.
  4. Remove from heat and put the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a small bowl (to separate the cooked berries and the juice). Keep separated and set both (the cooked berries and the juice) aside. The juice you will swirl into the cheese, the berries you will use as a topping once baked. 

Lemon Cheesecake:

  1. Place the oven rack in the lower half of the oven and preheat to 325°F. Double wrap the outside of a 9" springform pan with aluminum foil. 
  2. Place 1/4 cup of the sugar and the lemon zest in a food processor and process until the sugar turns yellow and fragrant. Add in the remaining sugar and pulse a few times to combine.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese for about 5 seconds. With the mixer on low, add in the lemon sugar in a steady stream, then switch to medium and beat until creamy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  4. Reduce the speed to medium-low and add the eggs, 2 at a time, scraping down the bowl in between additions.
  5. Add in the lemon juice, vanilla and salt and mix to combine.
  6. Add in the cream and beat to combine, another 5 seconds. Scrape the bowl again to make sure everything has been incorporated and pour into the springform pan.
  7. Drop spoonfuls of smooth blueberry-rose syrup over the top and swirl in with a knife
  8. Place the pan in the oven and carefully add enough water to the roasting pan to make it halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
  9. Bake until the center is slightly giggly and the sides start to puff and the surface is no longer shiny, about 55 to 60 minutes. Turn off the oven and prop the oven door open with a towel or wooden spoon. Allow the cake to cool in the oven for 1 hour.
  10. Remove from the roasting pan and transfer to a wire rack. Run a small paring knife around the edges of the cake and let it sit at room temperature for 2 hours.
  11. Refrigerate cheesecake for 5 hours, but 24 is best before serving. You can put the reserved blueberry topping on top as a garnish

 

Photos by: Zac Wolf Photography