"Food: Science, Art, Passion, Pleasure, Adventure & Exploration"

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Baking Adventure 10: Toffee-Topped Granola Treats

For starters, this isn't technically a baking adventure, as I didn't have to bake anything to make these desserts. However, I did wind up cooking and working with sugar mixtures on the stove to develop both the thick marshmallow sauce and the candy crusting of the toffee dispersed randomly atop the granola squares.

These squares turned out rather tasty and buttery - very shabby chic. The nutty, "honeyfied", addictive, starchy-oat blend of the granola from Quaker Granola Oats & Honey cereal is a superior substitute and flavor over the usual Rice Krispies cereal. Note that I never claimed healthy was among all of those great elements I described.

I guess you can call these Rice Krispies treats for adults.

*Available at most supermarket chains in the cereal aisle. I also recommend Cafe Fanny Granola, which is the second image; more expensive but madly good and awesome with vanilla almond milk or organic soy milk.

With all of this said, I will still always have a soft heart for the classic Rice Krispies treats recipe I remember as a child. Who doesn't?

The marshmallow cream sauce was very simple to make and is better than store-bought options, whether it be Marshmallow Fluff in a jar or marshmallows from a bag. I used sugar, a tad of heavy cream, gelatin, butter, light corn syrup, vanilla bean paste, and water to make my marshmallow sauce. It came out to a thick, gooey, and creamy consistency and held the granola together well as it cooled in a long, buttered, dark, low profile baking pan.

To spread out the granola marshmallow mix, I coated my hands in semi-melted butter so that my fingers would not stick to the flattened uncut batter as I shaped it along the pan.

As that was cooling, I took some brown sugar and began caramelizing it in a small pot, on low heat, on the stove. When the brown sugar was fully melted, I added in butter and let that absorb evenly into the mixture by stirring. I added in vanilla bean extract and a shot of rum liquor. I stirred again, and took the mixture off the stove. I poured in a small amount of heavy cream and the mixture began to spit and argue, but in an ecstatic manner. This means it was singing praises and enjoyed everything I added to it. I was ready, very quickly I might add, to spread the toffee mixture randomly over the granola batter. I had to work fast as the toffee candy began to stiffen and set up as each second progressed.

The toffee set nicely over the granola batter and eventually I was ready to cut the batter into squares and place them upon a light beige ceramic dish...for display and the inevitable appearance of grabbing hands.


  1. they look great! I tried to make a marshmallow fluff for krispy squares a while ago and I failed. Was wondering if you had any tips for melting marshmallows?

  2. Oh totally. When I was younger, I loved having a lot more marshmallow than Rice Krispies cereal in Rice Krispies treats, so that it turned out very rich and goopy. People would look at me oddly when I sat down to eat this sludgy, sticky mess in a cup or bowl. LOL But it was crazy good.

    When I use store-bought marshmallows, I use about 1/4 cup (or 2 oz) of butter per standard-sized bag. The amount of butter you use is up to you as some people really enjoy a bit more butter to make it even more rich.

    When the butter begins to melt in the pot on low-medium heat, once it completely dissolves, I add in the bag of marshmallows and begin stirring to help the marshmallows melt evenly and to keep the sides of the pot from becoming too sticky. I take the marshmallow mix off the stove once all of the marshmallows have dissolved and there are no more "chunks" or pieces of marshmallow.

    At this point, it is also good to add an extract of your choice to enhance the flavor. I've used rum, orange extract and all sorts of flavors in the past.

    Then I add in my choice of cereal or grains.

    Mojito themed flavor would be very interesting in a cereal treat. You can add chopped mint leaves, rum, and lime oil or extract to the marshmallow mix on the stove.

    Also thinking of a strawberry short cake flavor theme...

  3. Sounds great! I was going to put chocolate on top and add the flavoring to that but I think you'd get more interesting flavour combinations using your method. Thanks : )