I love my kids. But spending an entire summer with them is exhausting. There’s nothing I look forward to more in the weeks leading up to Memorial Day than long days of sunshine, lax schedules, and the dream of spending time “doing things” with my kids. Somehow I forget reality. Taking four kids (two of whom can’t walk on their own and require some mode of wheeled apparatus to get around) anywhere makes for long days and short patience. I forget that in the actual “doing things” there will be pulled hair and requests for snacks and grabbing and “she messed me up” and running after the crawling infant and screaming and whining and other countless fingernail scratches on the blackboard of my mind. All in the name of fun. But I love my kids.
Somewhere in the midst of the summer months, I had the brilliant idea to make Rice Krispies bars. It was hot; they were easy — it sounded like a plan… Until I reached for the cereal box and discovered we had been eating them for breakfast (gasp!) and I was short one whole cup for the minimum six required. Bummer. Plan foiled, because there was NO WAY I was going to pile all four kids in the car for a trip to Kroger for a single box of Rice Krispies. Then I noticed the open bag of pretzels on the counter with about a cup left hovering in the bottom. Hmmm… could I? Why, yes. A humble treat just got a kiss of trendy gourmet.
And here’s the thing: while two of the aforementioned kids slept, two of them helped without bickering or fighting or complaining and snitching only a few chocolate chips from the bag. We were “doing things”. And they liked it.
Salted Caramel, Pretzel, & Chocolate Chip Crispy Rice Treats
- 1/4 cup butter or margarine
- 40 marshmallows or one bag miniature marshmallows
- 2 Tbsp molasses
- 5 cups crisp rice cereal
- 1 cup crushed pretzels
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- sea salt (optional)
- In large microwavable bowl, heat butter and marshmallows on high for 1 minute. Add molasses. Using rubber spatula sprayed with cooking spray or buttered, stir together, making sure mixture is smooth. Add cereal and pretzels and stir until nearly coated. Add chocolate chips; stir until mixed.
- Spread mixture in buttered 13×9″ pan. Use your hand to press mixture firmly into pan–best to wet your hand before doing so. Sprinkle with sea salt, if desired. Let rest a bit to cool down. Cut into squares and serve.