When I was a kid, I loved Rice Krispie treats, but I would only eat the plain ones—no peanut butter Rice Krispie treats, no chocolate Rice Krispie treats, and definitely no Rice Krispie treats with anything smeared or sprinkled on the top. My husband likes something called “scotcheroos” that sounds way over the top to me. It sounds so rich and—well, decadent.
At times I can stand a little decadence, but when it comes to Rice Krispie treats, I generally proceed with caution. Baby steps, you know. Baby steps.
As I have gotten older, I have branched out a little. I developed a taste for the peanut butter-flavored Rice Krispie treats at some point in high school, although I wouldn’t want them every day. Then recently, surprising myself a little, I found myself thinking it might be nice to have some cocoa Rice Krispie treats.
I probably wouldn’t have been thinking about cocoa Rice Krispie treats at all if it weren’t for the amount of cocoa I’ve got in my kitchen. A few weeks ago I bought a can of cocoa at Russ’s Market, came home, opened the cabinet to put it away—and found two open cans of cocoa and two brand-new unopened cans already sitting in the cabinet above my stove.
I have a couple of theories about how I wound up with so much cocoa.
First, for a long, long time, I did very little baking from scratch. In my long brownies-and-cake-come-from-a-box phase, I never needed cocoa. So I would have forgotten I even had any.
Second, when I was pregnant with my second son, my “nesting” period consisted of stocking my kitchen with food like I was preparing to bring home a 17-year-old football player, not an eight-pound infant. Making it worse, I was only fuzzily aware of what I was bringing home, and how much. I mean, when I came home from the hospital with Neeley, I opened the fridge to find four dozen eggs … and I had no recollection of buying them. The way I see it, it’s possible I did the same thing with cocoa.
Whatever the reason for my private cocoa stash, I had a lot of cocoa to use up. So far, I’ve been working my way through the supply by making chocolate cake, chocolate cookies, and homemade icing. Then this past Sunday afternoon, I decided that cocoa Rice Krispie treats would be an easy treat to make for our lunches for the week.
There’s not much to explain about this recipe. It’s easy. My only additional advice would be to make sure you don’t add so much cereal that there isn’t enough marshmallow to coat it. So, add most of the cereal to the marshmallow mixture, stir it a little to see if there’s going to be enough marshmallow to coat it, and if it looks like you could add a little more cereal and coat that too, stir in the rest.
I ate these cocoa Rice Krispie treats for lunch all week, and I think they are delicious. My husband ate them happily enough, but he kept bringing up those doggone scotcheroos. Going on and on about a chocolate layer and a peanut butter-Rice Krispie layer or whatever.
Well, you know what I have to say to that? Scotcheroos, botcheroos. If you’re like me and you don’t want your treats to be sickening sweet, you probably already love cocoa Rice Krispie treats, with their subtle sweetness and their full cocoa taste. I love that bittersweet cocoa taste.
But if you want scotcheroos, I’m sorry. This treat may not be for you. And maybe you ought to think about whether you really want to live on the edge like that.
Cocoa Rice Krispie Treats
¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter
¼ cup cocoa
5 cups mini marshmallows
4 ½ to 5 cups crispy rice cereal
½ tsp vanilla
Spray 9×13 pan with cooking spray.
Melt butter in large saucepan over low heat. Stir in cocoa and marshmallows. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until marshmallows are melted and mixture is smooth and well blended. Stir in vanilla and continue cooking one minute, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat. Add cereal and stir until coated. Press mixture into prepared pan. Cool completely. Cut into bars.