There’s a blanket on my couch that I’m very protective of. I bought it on a whim at Superstore last year, and ended up spending most of the first two weeks of nights with Jack under it on the couch. There was something about the softness of that blanket hitting us that calmed us both down and lulled us to sleep in minutes. In later weeks it was something I literally looked forward to feeling when I woke up multiple times per night to sit on the couch and feed Jack – that blanket held so much heat on a cold winter night in a drafty corner, and the incredible softness never stopped giving me the warm fuzzies.
Now, after many nights of use, many nap-times of service, and the many washes that come with all that closeness to children and new moms, the blanket isn’t as soft and luxurious as it once was. But, when one of my kids dared to point out that the blanket wasn’t the nicest anymore, I felt strangely defensive and annoyed. I leapt to the blanket’s defense: It is SO soft, and it keeps you SO warm. And look how perfectly the stripes match the couch. It is like a friendly sheep. GIVE IT TO ME.
It reminded me of the quote from the old children’s book, The Velveteen Rabbit: “Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
So if you come to my house and things are looking a little too real for your liking, just assume that there is something going on that you don’t understand. I am a very selective hoarder, but a hoarder nonetheless :)
The same is true of food. We all have recipes we grew up eating that may be out of fashion and long forgotten by many, but which bring an indescribable sense of comfort and inner smiles to us, because they’re from a family that is ours.
When I was at my parents’ house a couple weeks ago I was reminded of one such recipe I had forgotten about – peanut butter Rice Krispie squares with chocolate on top. I posted those FIVE years ago, and I don’t think I’ve made them since. They were so delicious when I rediscovered them, and they totally gave me those good fuzzy-blanket feelings. I got home and immediately added them to my Christmas baking list.
Naturally, after my initial zest, I realised I didn’t have corn syrup, and I decided I wanted to leave some un-iced so I could dunk them in chocolate fondue, and I had leftover marshmallows from something else…one substitution led to another, and here we are today with a slightly different, even easier version of a comfort food classic. Gluten free, which is trendy, full of sugars and allergy-inducing peanut butter, which is not, and I couldn’t care less.
Guys, if you can find space on your Christmas baking list for a no-bake, 7-minute recipe sure to please kids and make adults feel the warm fuzzies, this is the recipe you need. I’m hoping that posting them again means I won’t forget them again anytime soon. My kids may not get the attachment to a throw blanket, but they are right there with me when it comes to attachment to food.
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup honey
- 1 cup smooth peanut butter
- 3 cups Rice Krispies cereal
- ½ cup mini marshmallows
- Line a 9"x9” or 8"x11" baking pan with foil, extending foil slightly over edges. Spray foil lightly with cooking spray.
- In large saucepan over medium-low heat, combine sugar, honey and peanut butter and stir constantly until sugar is dissolved and everything is melted together, 3-4 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add cereal, stirring until combined. Stir in marshmallows (it's fine if they melt a little). Press into prepared pan with silicone spatula or slightly damp hands.
- Let sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours to set, then lift squares out of pan, peel off foil and cut into squares.
- Store at room temperature, or these also double and freeze well.