Thursday, June 16, 2016

Crescent and Star Shaped Rice Crispy Treats

Ramadan Kareem to all of my readers! We've almost reached the halfway mark of Ramadan, which always creates a bittersweet feeling for me. The end of Ramadan means no more huge amounts of reward for every little thing you do and no more bonding over iftar and suhoor. At the same time it means no more hunger pains in the middle of the day and no more crazy schedules. Even more, it means that my favorite holiday, Eid, is coming up. So it's a very sad feeling with a hint of excitement.

One of our Ramadan traditions is to pass out a little treat or some iftar around the neighborhood. This is not only a great opportunity to meet some new neighbors but it is a great way to raise awareness and tell people a little bit about Ramadan. Since Islam teaches us to have the best of manners with our neighbors, with the right intention, this tradition can actually be considered worship. It's also a fun way to get your kids involved in the spirit and festivity of Ramadan.

This year, I wanted to maximize my time for worship and not spend so much time in the kitchen, especially while juggling my two year old and housework. I was on the lookout for a small, yummy, and super easy (not time consuming at all) treat to pass around the 'hood. These rice crispy treats were the perfect solution. Making them takes no time at all and using star- and crescent-shaped cookie cutters to cut them into shapes makes them extra festive. The crescent-shaped treat was an extra helpful conversation starter as Baby and I passed these out around the neighborhood. We explained to our neighbors that the crescent was symbolic of the lunar calendar Ramadan is based on.

If you're brave enough, you can get your little one to help you in the kitchen since the steps are relatively easy. The little guy had a blast adding sprinkles onto the wet chocolate of the dipped treats. He probably ingested more than the amount that actually reached the treat but it's all cool. 

Give these treats a try even if it isn't Ramadan. They make the perfect party favor or dessert and a great bake sale item. Good luck in the kitchen!

Rice Crispy Treats
(makes around 12)

10 oz regular sized marshmallows
5 cups rice krispy cereal
3 tablespoons butter
approx. 1/2 cup melting chocolate wafers

Melt the butter in a large nonstick pot on low heat. You don't want any browning, so keep stirring. Once melted, add the marshmallows to the pot and stir continuously until fully melted. You don't want it to get stuck to the pot or turn brown. 

When the marshmallows are melted and creamy, remove the pot from the heat and stir in the cereal. Keep stirring with a silicon spatula until full combined. 

Transfer the mixture onto a greased 9"x13" pan and use a piece of parchment paper to press down and flatten the mixture evenly. I found that cutting the treats with cookie cutters was easiest when the mixture was still warm, but regardless cutting these treats will be a little difficult. To make square shapes, use a pizza cutter to cut it easily once the mixture is cooled. 

A helpful tip from one of my lovely readers, Maria - Make sure to use the cookie cutters right away while the mixture is still warm. Place the cut shapes on a sheet of wax paper to set. Continue to cut out the shapes until you’ve finished the tray. Gather the scraps and press together to cut out more shapes. Continue to do so until you’ve used up as much of the mixture as possible. 

Once the shapes have been cut, melt the chocolate wafers (or chocolate chips) in the microwave at 30 second intervals. Stir till smooth. Decorate the treats as you wish by dipping or drizzling the chocolate and adding sprinkles for some pizzazz. Transfer the dipped treats onto parchment paper and refrigerate for 10-15 minutes for the chocolate to harden. Eat within a few days for best results. 

Good luck in the kitchen and enjoy!

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