Spiked Chocolate Rice Crispy Treats

This evening, after a long day of school, conferences, and Greta eating and playing hard – she crashed hard and early.  Eric was still at said conferences, so I hit the kitchen to play the use it up game.  I had seen some interesting rice crispy treat recipes on Pinterest and decided to tweak them to fit what I had in my baking cupboards.  The outcome was not Pinterest pretty – but still rather tasty.

My mom taught me a wonderful quote last weekend: “Anything worth doing is worth doing badly.”  I think that is my new mantra.  Though I would hardly call these Spiked Chocolate Rice Crispy Treats bad.  See so for yourself, though. 
These were my magical ingredients tonight.  

Melt 1/2 stick of butter in a large pan over low heat or in a microwave safe bowl.  Add 3 tablespoons orange liqueur – I opted for Harlequin.  Add a 10 oz bag of marshmallows.  
At this point, I got frustrated.  I dumped them into a microwave safe dish and nuked em til they were big and about to explode (about 3 minutes).  The liqueur turned them an interesting golden color. 
Add 6 cups of rice crisp-like cereal.  
Stir very well.  At this point, Eric was home and he took over the stirring for me. 
Use a piece of parchment paper to press your gooey treats into a well-greased 9 x 13 inch pan. 
Last, for a topping, melt 5 oz of semi sweet chocolate.  Spread over the top.  
Allow to cool and set.  Slice and serve.  The orange flavor is perfectly paired with the chocolate and only gets better as it cools.  These would be perfect holiday treats or a perfect start to your weekend.  Happy (almost) Friday, everyone!
Spiked Chocolate Rice Crispy Treats
1. Melt 1/2 stick of butter in a large pan over low heat or in a microwave safe bowl.  Add 3 tablespoons orange liqueur.  Add a 10 oz bag of marshmallows
2.  When the marshmallows have completely melted, add 6 cups of rice crisp-like cereal.  Stir well.  Use a piece of parchment paper to press your gooey treats into a well-greased 9 x 13 inch pan. 
3. For a topping, melt 5 oz of semi sweet chocolate.  Spread over the top.  Allow treats to cool and set.  Slice and serve. 

Super Bowl Surprise Cake

The surprise is that this chocolate cake is vegan. 
This recipe takes the cake on vegan desserts.  One would have no idea it is vegan unless told.  It is everything a cake should be – moist, dense, and so chocolately!  I doubled this recipe to that I would have a larger cake – just bump the baking time up to 40 minutes.  
Mix the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt directly in the pan.  This is the added bonus – less to clean up!

Mix dry ingredients very well with a fork. 
 Mix warm water, vegetable oil, vanilla, and vinegar.  

I am a fan of the pyrex measuring cup in lieu of a small mixing bowl.  Easier to pour, easier to clean. 
Mix dry and liquids.  Use a spatula to find any hidden pockets of dry ingredients.  
Chocolate Vegan Cake
Ingredients:
1-1/4 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 c. warm water
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 c. vegetable oil
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1. Preheat oven to 350.  In an 8×8 inch square pan, mix flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt with fork.  Mix very well. 
2. Mix water, vanilla, oil, and vinegar in a small bowl.  Add all at once to the dry ingredients.  Mix well.  Use a spatula to scrape sides and bottoms to ensure adequate mixing.  
3. Bake 30 minutes or til knife comes out clean.  
Let it cool completely before frosting.  Sometimes I create a simple powdered sugar and almond milk glaze and sometimes I make a more complicated simmer on the stove glaze.  However, this time, I used a simple store-bought frosting in caramel flavor.  Check back tomorrow to see pics of the frosting and the eating of the cake.  
Happy Superbowl Sunday!  

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The Best Bars Ever

Photos cannot do this scrumptious bar justice.  
It’s like a Snickers candy bar meets oatmeal cookie bar, with the goodness of sweet and salty flavors, and the combination of chewy and crunchy textures.  The best part is that this is one of the easiest to make and easiest to please bars one can make.  I got the recipe from my former 4H leader, Nancy years ago.
Here’s what you need:
Chocolate Caramel Bars
2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour, divided
2 c. quick-cooking oats
1 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 c. cold butter or margarine
2 c. (12 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
1 c. chopped peanuts (or preferred nut)
1 jar (12 oz) caramel ice cream topping
In a bowl, mix 2 c. flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt.  
Cut in butter until crumbly (or melt the butter and mix in, if time is of the essence).  Set half aside for the topping.  
Press the remaining into a greased 13-inch x 9-inch x 2-inch baking pan.  
Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  
Sprinkle with the chocolate chips and chopped nuts.  
Whisk caramel topping and remaining flour until smooth. 
Drizzle caramel over top.  Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture.  Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool on a wire rack for 2 hours before cutting (they aren’t kidding on this step!)  Yield about 4 1/2 dozen.  
The golden brown, finished product. 
This was the perfect end to a perfect meal of homemade veggie pizza.  And what made it even better….
was loading all the dirty dishes into my brand new dishwasher!  
The recap:
Chocolate Caramel Bars
2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour, divided
2 c. quick-cooking oats
1 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 c. cold butter or margarine
2 c. (12 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
1 c. chopped peanuts (or preferred nut)
1 jar (12 oz) caramel ice cream topping

In a bowl, mix 2 c. flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt.  Cut in butter until crumbly (or melt the butter and mix in, if time is of the essence).  Set half aside for the topping.  Press the remaining into a greased 13-inch x 9-inch x 2-inch baking pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  Sprinkle with the chocolate chips and chopped nuts.  Whisk caramel topping and remaining flour until smooth.  Drizzle caramel over top.  Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture.  Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool on a wire rack for 2 hours before cutting.  Yield about 4 1/2 dozen.