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Bye Smels!

October 6, 2007

My lovely sister Chelsea, also known as Smels, (since my uncle used to call her Smelsea when we were kids-NOT because she smells, ha ha!) left yesterday on a 2-month bike vacation. She is so amazing. I miss her a ton already. Here she is in all her loveliness…

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I asked her if I could bake her some trail bars or cookies or something to help sustain her on her venture. Since she is a notorious caramel lover, she wondered if I could make her some rice crispies treats, with caramel instead of marshmallows (we don’t eat gelatin). I agreed, but warned her that they would be experimental & could turn out runny or something. Well, the caramel gods smiled upon us all! They were so easy, much easier than the standard ones. They have pretty much the same texture, but with less stringy-ness, if that makes sense. If I were to make them again, I would add nuts of some sort, as well as some shards of bittersweet chocolate, to combat the sweetness.

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I basically just looked up a recipe, which happened to be from Martha’s Baking Handbook & poured the sauce over a 12-ounce box of Rice Krispies. We looked for non-corporate ones, but had no luck-they were all brown rice cereals.

Caramel Crispies

4 cups sugar (unfortunately not a type-o)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar (to prevent crystallization/ruination of caramel)
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups soy creamer
1 teaspoon vanilla
12 ounces of crispy cereal

Grease and line with parchment a 9X13-inch pan. In a large, heavy-bottomed pan, combine the sugar, salt, cream of tartar, and water over high heat. Without stirring, let the caramel heat until it begins to turn golden around the edges. Once that happens, swirl the pan & cook until it becomes a golden amber color. This happens pretty quick, so have your cream ready! Turn off the heat and move pan off the burner. Slowly stream the cream into the pan, then the vanilla, stirring with a wooden spoon until combined. Add the cereal and stir until it is fully coated. Plop the mixture into your prepared pan and, using a silicone spatula, press and pat the mixture down to compact it as much as you can. Let it set up for about an hour or so before cutting and wrapping.

Late last night, in order to get over my sister’s absence, I made Ethan and myself some White Russians. Yummy therapy.

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