Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispy Treats

A short, light post today.  Just to prove to you all that I really like peanut butter.

I am not even kidding when I say that some days when I wake up and lie in bed trying to convince myself to get up and start my day, I only get up because I bribe myself with breakfast.  FOOD!  Every single morning I spread peanut butter on top of a toasted whole wheat English muffin and it melts in the nooks and crannies and it is bomb.  Add a cup of coffee and I am one happy girl

That's what I had for brekkie today.  And then followed it up with a bar... or two of these bad boys. Peanut butter (creamy and crunchy), chocolate, cereal, marshmallows, caffeine, carbs?  Those are all my food groups right?  

Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispy Treats

6 cups Rice Krispy cereal
5 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
10 oz. bag marshmallows
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips 

1. In a saucepan over low heat, melt butter completely but do not let boil.
2. Add in marshmallows, stirring frequently with a rubber spatula to prevent sticking.
3. Add peanut butter and stir until combined.
4. Remove from heat and immediately add in rice krispy cereal.  
5. Scoop mixture into a 9 x 13 pan lined with wax paper. Pat down with a greased piece of waxed paper until smooth and even. Let set a few minutes. 
7. Melt semi sweet chocolate chips and pour over top of rice krispies.  Let set a few minutes.  
8. Melt peanut butter chips and pipe on as much or little peanut butter on top of the chocolate chip layer as you'd like.  I piped on chevron stripes just because I could.  :)  Let set.  (You can speed up the process by putting these in the fridge for a few minutes.  But be careful, too much time in the fridge and you won't be able to cut through the cereal!   
9.  Enjoy!!!!

I love the layered look of these, don't you? 

Rice krispys treats have become my go to treat for when I am either too lazy or it's too hot to bake.  I made some cookie butter rice krispy treats before, but thought I would try peanut butter out since that had been my original intention month ago.  If you recall, I wanted to do peanut butter but a friend threw cookie butter in instead, giving me a mini heart attack in the process.  So this was my redemption to myself.

Peanut Butter redemption is the best, by the way.

I owe so many people cookies it's ridiculous.  So I shall be back soon.


Monday, August 12, 2013

Thai Tea Cupcakes

I have a real problem on my hands.  It comes in a plastic cup, you push a giant straw through the top, it has tapioca pearls at the bottom, it is filled with iced milk tea and I just can't stop drinking it.  Oh boba, you're exactly the kind of problem I like to have. Luckily all my friends have a similar problem.  Boba parties, yo.

And luckily-not-so-unluckily, Pam decided she wanted  thai tea cupcakes for her birthday dinner this year.  I say luckily because I got to make these bad boys. Iced thai tea is my favorite flavor!  I say unluckily because when a pound bag of thai tea came to my doorstop I literally made my tummy hurt "testing" the flavor.  I drank a lot of cups of tea.   I also felt the need to stop by a local Ice Creamery to try their Thai Tea Iced Cream for dinner.  Twice. After the gym though!  That makes it sound better, right?  Or Worse?  I'm just educating my palette, totally acceptable.

Before I get to the recipe or the flavors though, let's take a second and discuss these liners.  I'm sure you can find them anywhere, but I found them at this adorable cake supply shop in Berkeley where they sell cupcake shaped spatulas, SPRINKLES, cookies, liners and anything else you may need.  It's named Spun Sugar and I want to move in there.  And I mean, orange scalloped liners?  The only thing more appropriate for Pam would have been if they'd been lace, too.

To keep with the orange theme of the liners and the cupcakes themselves I had to make orange flowers to top them off.  They were super simple to make.  Just melt orange candy melts, pipe out some squiggly flowers on some wax paper and add a cluster of white pearl sprinkles in the center.  As long as the candy melt is still soft, they will act as glue.  Pop  in the freezer for a few minutes to speed up the drying process.  Way too easy.

Thai Tea Cupcakes
Makes 24 cupcakes, Bake for aprox. 15 minutes. at 350*
Adapted from Bowen Appetit

2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup condensed milk
3/4 cup thai iced tea mix
2 1/4 cups cake flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
1 3/4 c. sugar
4 eggs, room temp
1/2 tsb vanilla extract

2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
1/4 block cream cheese
3 cups powdered sugar

1. In a small sauce pan/pot combine whole milk and condensed milk along with the thai mixed tea mix.  Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
2.  Remove from heat and cover with a lid, let seep for 10 minutes.  Pour mixture through a fine sieve and let cool to room temperature. You will only use 1/2 a cup of the thai tea milk mixture.
3. Whisk flours, baking powder and salt together in a bowl and set aside.
4. In your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream butter and sugar together until fluffy.
5. Add eggs in one at a time and beat until fully incorporated.   Add in vanilla.
6. Alternate add in flour mixture and thai tea milk mixture to the stand mixture, starting and ending with the flour.
7.  Scoop batter into lined cupcake liners and bake until done, around 15 minutes.  Cool fully before frosting.

Thai Tea Frosting
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
1/4 block full fat cream cheese, room temp
1 tsp vanilla
3 c. powdered sugar
1/2 cup thai tea and milk  mixture (see below)

Thai Tea and Milk mixture:
3/4 cup condensed milk
1/4 cup whole milk
1 tbsp  thai iced tea mix

1. Combine the two milks in a small saucepan/pot along with the loose thai tea and stir occastionally until mixture simmers (not boils).  (8-10 minutes. )
3. Remove from heat and cover pot with a lid and let seep and cool for an additional 10 minutes.
4. Strain tea through a small sieve.  (Note: Boiling and straining will reduce the liquid down by almost half.  You should have 1/2 a cup.)  Let the mixture cool to room temperature.
5. In a stand mixture, cream butter and cream cheese together until fluffy on medium speed.
6. Slowly add in the Thai Tea and Milk Mixture and continue beating.
7. Add powdered sugar 1/2 a cup at a time and beat.
8. Add vanilla in and beat until fully incorporated.
9. Pipe onto cupcakes.

The frosting came out perfect.  The cupcakes need one additional tweak -- which I have changed here. They should come out perfect... now  ;)  I especially like the color. A light orange color all around, with the smallest little specks from the tea leaves. Coupled with the other orange accents and I made Pam a happy girl.

I'm really proud of how pretty these came out.  I was tempted to have Pam take pictures of them for me instead.  But since it was her birthday and she was busy stuffing herself with pizza, I gave her a pass.

For the record, yes Pam gets her every birthday request granted.  She is spoiled like that.  I have no doubt she is already formulating ideas for what she wants next year.

And to no one's surprise I will leave you now... to go find some boba.