27 August 2012

Pina Colada Rice Krispies Treats

Southern cooks are really good at many things, but one of things we are renowned for is putting all manner of fruits and vegetables into our desserts.  It's a pretty common assumption outside the South that Southerners thick if it has fruits or vegetables in it, then it's good for you.  I think we have such a bounty of fruits and vegetables during the summer all those ladies on the farm needed more uses for all of them.  God forbid a southern lady lets anything go to waste.

These treats would fit in really well in a more tropical part of the south than here in Arkansas, but I figured why not try it out anyway?  As you might remember from my Ambrosia Pie post, I come by my love of all things pineapple by way of my grandfather.  These treats require only a little more work than the plain version you're used to, but they're packed with pineapple, coconut, and macadamia nuts.
There's also a little rum extract to transport you to the poolside with a nice frozen drink in your hand.

For this recipe, I go back to one of my favorite secret ingredients -- flavored gelatin.  It imparts the pineapple flavor throughout the treats.  One warning, though, don't take a big hunk of the marshmallow mixture and taste it before adding the cereal.  It's pretty sour.  The cereal balances that out though; the finished treats are light with a little citrus tang, some crunch from the cereal and macadamias, and a hint of coconut every now and again.  If you like pina coladas these treats are altogether yummy and a nice new twist on an old favorite, which is exactly what I was aiming for when I started working on these.

Pina Colada Rice Krispies Treats
makes 24-30 treats

Print me, Please!!!

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
10 oz bag miniature marshmallows
7 cups Rice Krispies cereal
1 pkg pineapple flavored gelatin
1 cup chopped candied pineapple
1 cup chopped shredded sweetened coconut
3/4 c chopped macadamia nuts
1/2 tsp rum extract

Prepare a rectangular baking pan with nonstick spray.

In a large pan over low heat, melt the butter.  Add the marshmallows and gelatin, stirring constantly until well melted and mixed well.  Stir in the pineapple, coconut, macadamia nuts, and rum extract.  Stir until well combined.

If your pot is big enough, pour the cereal into the pot and stir until well coated.  If your pot is not big enough, have your cereal ready in a large bowl; pour the marshmallow mixture over the cereal and stir until well combined.

Pour the cereal mixture into your prepared baking dish.  Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes, then press the mixture down until compressed and evenly distributed.  Let cool completely.  Once cool, remove from pan and cut into squares with a sharp knife.

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