The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Level: Easy

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Description

Spiced-up festive Rice Krispie squares, with some healthy added ingredients, and a decadent option for a cinnamon ganache topping. In the ganache-frosted version the gingerbread flavours are much more subtle than when they are the star of the show. Here, they provide a subtle spicy undertone to the rich, creamy choclate … but sometimes it is all about the chocolate.

Ingredients

  • FOR THE RICE KRISPIE TREATS:
  • 5 cups Crispy Rice Cereal
  • 1 cup Quick Oats
  • ½ cups Dried Cranberries Or Raisins
  • ¼ cups Butter Or Margarine
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoons Ground Ginger
  • ¼ teaspoons Ground Nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoons Ground Allspice
  • 40 whole Regular (not The Jumbo Ones) Marshmallows
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • FOR THE GANACHE:
  • 1 cup Good Quality Dark Chocolate, Chunks Or Chopped
  • ¾ cups Whipping Cream
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon

Preparation

Lightly grease a 9×9″ or 9×13″ pan (larger pan will make thinner squares, smaller pan will make thicker ones—it’s a matter of personal preference) with butter or cooking oil spray. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, measure the crispy rice cereal, oats and cranberries or raisins (if using). Set aside.

Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute to release the flavors in the spices. (What a heavenly aroma!) When the spiced butter just starts to bubble, add the marshmallows and stir constantly until the marshmallows are melted. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.

Pour this sticky mixture over the rice crisps and oats, scraping it out of the saucepan with a rubber spatula.

Working quickly, before it cools, fold it all gently together with the spatula until the the dry ingredients are thoroughly coated with the marshmallowy goo.

Scrape it into the greased pan. Coat the inside of your hands with a smearing of butter or cooking spray, and pat the mixture down firmly (without crushing the cereal) until it is evenly spread out. Tell your children the leftover sticky-crispy bits in the bowl and on the spatula will make them sick, then when they are out of sight quickly work them off and devour them. (It’s a dirty job but someone needs to keep the kids safe!)

Leave the pan of nummy-ness to cool at room temperature or in the refrigerator for about an hour or so, then cut into 16 squares. Hide a few away for yourself before the kids get them all.

A cold glass of milk (any kind) does go well with these. Or frost them first with this (simple but deadly) topping …

For the decadent chocolate ganache:

Put 1 cup chopped dark chocolate, 3/4 cup whipping cream and 1 teaspoon cinnamon together in a small heavy-bottomed sauce pan and set over medium-low heat.

Stir constantly until melted and glossy. Remove from heat and allow to cool until lukewarm. Pour over the pan of prepared Gingerbread Rice Krispie Squares.

Spread it out with a spatula, and allow to rest until set, about an hour in the refrigerator or a little longer at room temperature. Slice into squares when the ganache has firmed up, wiping the knife after each cut.

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