Friday, August 19, 2011
My Go-To Friend
Yip. My "Go-To Friend" is a recipe. Special K Bars to be exact. Why, you ask? Let me list the reasons...
2.) Ingredients are always on hand
4.) People eat them
5.) I don't have to search for the recipe
I remember aunts on both sides of the family making these while I was growing up. Then, Mom started making them. Then it was my turn! I always like them better than the other quick-and-easy bar, Rice Krispie Bars (these were my brother's favorite). To me, Special K Bars have more flavor... and they have chocolate!
I used to make them in college... the girls would chow them down.
I once made them for a Bible Study - I didn't know the other people in the study that well, but I hosted one night anyways. The food I made wasn't as fancy as other hosts had - I made Special-K Bars and my Hidden-Treat Brownies (that recipe will come another time!). To my surprise, girls were asking me for the recipe. One girl said that she made them often, but that mine truly tasted like "Scotcheroos" (another name for the same thing). She looked at my recipe and realized it was in the frosting...
I made them last year for my students (always having a non-peanut butter treat, just in case of allergies). Loved them.
I finally realized how much these have become "my" recipe when I made them this summer for a Montana Girls-Night-In. It just amazed me how much my new friends liked them. Back home in SoDak, they know I love making these things. Out here, we're still learning about each other - they are still realizing how much of a home-y person I am :)
Anyways, without further ado... THE RECIPE!
In a heavy pot, bring to a boil:
1/2 c. sugar
1 c. peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
1 c. white corn syrup (Kyro is a common brand - if you can't find it in the baking aisle, look near the breakfast syrups)
Stir often - this concoction will stick to the sides and bottom of the pot and burn.
Once it has boiled, pour over 6 c. Special K in a large mixing bowl. Stir with a long spoon until cereal is evenly coated. (other corn flake cereal may be used in substitution... Mom says it doesn't taste as good with the off-brands, but I have found that Hy-Vee's spin off tastes just fine!)
Have your cake pan ready by spraying it with cooking spray - pour your mixture into the cake pan and flatten. (Don't completely flatten... un-eaven-ness is kind of fun!)
Let set. (Enjoy eating the bits stuck to the sides of the mixing bowl - make sure you fill the bowl with water as soon as you're done eating the leftovers... hardened Special-K mixture is rather difficult to remove from the bowl if you let it sit on the counter for a few days without soaking)
Meanwhile, pour half a bag of chocolate chips and half a bag of butterscotch chips into a microwavable bowl (butterscotch chips were the missing ingredient from the Bible Study girl's recipe). Microwave on High for 30s. Stir. Microwave again for 30s. Stir. Repeat until you can stir it into a smooth frosting. DO NOT MICROWAVE TOO LONG! From experience... burnt chocolate DOES NOT smell good. Also, do not use peanut butter chips instead of butterscotch (in my defense, they do look the same!). When this happens, it doesn't mix as well as with the butterscotch chips... plus, it doesn't taste right!
Once frosting is ready, pour and spread onto bars. Wait for frosting to set before cutting and enjoying :)
OK, if you need a more concise recipe without the anecdotes, I'll send it to you on a postcard... I rather like telling stories about the lessons I've learned while making Special K Bars over the years, but I promise to refrain if I send you a postcard recipe :)