Sweet taste of autumn in candied apple crispy rice treats

Yankee Chef logoBy Jim Bailey

What is nice about this recipe – other than the fact that I have reduced the butter content by half without affecting the consistency one bit – is that you can prepare simple, classic crispy rice treats by omitting the caramels and jelly completely, but you will have to double the amount of butter.

candiedapplecrispyricetreatsNonstick cooking spray
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
1/4 cup apple jelly
5 cups regular-sized marshmallows (8 to a cup)
28 individual caramels, unwrapped and divided
2 (.74-ounce) packets hot apple cider instant drink mix*
5 cups crispy rice cereal
1/2 cup dried apple slices, crumbled

2 teaspoons milk

Grease a 9-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. In a large saucepan, add the butter and jelly over medium heat. Stirring frequently until butter and jelly are melted. Add 20 caramels. Stir once or twice until they are halfway melted, then constantly stir until completely melted, about 6-7 minutes.

Stir in the dry cider mix and reduce heat just a tad below medium. Add marshmallows and constantly stir until they are completely melted, an additional 5-6 minutes.

Remove pan from heat and stir in cereal and crushed apples with a rubber spatula. When thoroughly blended, immediately transfer to prepared pan. Dip a spoon in water and scrape off any remaining mixture from spatula and pan. Even the top with the spoon and set aside until cooled and firm.

Meanwhile, melt remaining caramels with milk in the microwave for 20-30 seconds, or until melted and the mixture is starting to foam. Very carefully remove and stir until smooth. Drizzle over rice treats and cut into desired sizes. Cool 15 minutes before serving.

*I used Alpine brand, which I believe to be the best flavored cider mix on the market. But during the holidays, you can find any brand in most supermarkets.

Yankee Chef book coverSchiffer Books of Pennsylvania has released Jim Bailey’s new book The Yankee Chef: Feel Good Food for Every Kitchen. It contains more than 550 traditional New England comfort-food recipes tweaked for today’s palates with hundreds of kitchen tips and food facts. The hardback book is 312 pages and contains 200 color images. Its ISBN is 978-0-7643-4191-5 and the cost is $34.99. The book can be ordered through Misty Valley Books, 802-875-3400.

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Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeThe Yankee Chef

About the Author: Jim Bailey is a third generation Yankee Chef, New England food historian and newspaper columnist. His first cookbook, simply titled The Yankee Chef, has been published. He welcomes all feedback, questions or comments at theyankeechef@aol.com.

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