As I mentioned last week, this post is all about story time. When I created this website, I had to explain to a few people that I would only review dining experiences I liked, and that I would not be critiquing restaurants. Obviously, not every menu is perfect; if this is the case, then I will recommend only a specific dish there. If I go somewhere that I enjoy, you will hear about it, but if I have a bad experience repeatedly at a certain venue, I will simply find a new place to go, no blogging necessary. You see, I want this blog to be a place you might peruse if you need good recipes, ideas or suggestions. I do not want it to be a place for me to bash anyone’s food creations.
That said, I don’t think we can discuss these amazing, outstanding, addictive Crispy Treats without at least touching on the Cheeky Monkey. Oh, Cheeky Monkey. You sneak, you! Your menu seems impressive and your baked goods tower high with fluffy-looking buttercream. Your cookies and sweets are gigantic, and in complete alignment with what my eyes think I should be able to stuff down my throat. But let’s face it, my eyes always assume I will eat 50% more than I could possibly stomach, and every last encounter you and I have had has been sub-par.
Sometimes it seems I am the only person in Saint Paul who is absolutely unimpressed with this establishment. The only reason I have experience with it is because I may or may not have worked at some point in the general vicinity, and I may or may not have, on occasion, forgotten my lunch and had to peruse their menu. To put it simply, the only thing I have ever had there that has tasted great has been the Rosewater Crispy Rice Treats served on Valentine’s Day 2013. I returned days afterward hoping they were a year-round offering, only to find they were not. Better yet, when I mistakenly settled for their normal, rosewater-less Crispy Treats, the girl at the front told me (after I had paid), “Make sure you warm it up in the oven first. It’s a little hard.” That was an understatement; one bite of the Marshmallow Crispy rock I had purchased made my front teeth feel massacred.
No, I did not warm it up in the oven. Je refuse! Still, Cheeky Monkey, I thank you for this awful experience. Without it, I never would have gone out and made the absolute BEST Marshmallow Crispy Treats. Ever. And I can add rosewater to them all by myself, without any of your Cheeky Monkey help.
The only thing crisp about these is the cereal; meanwhile, the rosewater, butter, sea salt, and marshmallows meld perfectly into sweet, heavenly goo. The key to this is patience, melting the ingredients ever so slowly on low until they have fully incorporated. Be forewarned that you probably won’t be able to eat just one. And there’s nothing wrong with that! Please forward your messages of thanks to the Cheeky Monkey, whose inconsistency and general awfulness generated one of my favorite recipes yet. That’s right, Cheeky Monkey. Who’s laughing now?
Rosewater Marshmallow Crispy Treats
Makes 9 treats
5 tbsp unsalted butter
1¼ tsp rosewater
¼ tsp sea salt
1-2 drops red food coloring (optional)
10 oz marshmallows (or 4 cups of mini marshmallows)
5 cups crispy rice cereal
Grease one 8x8x2 pan and set aside. Melt butter in large pot over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. When butter has melted completely, reduce heat to low and add rosewater, sea salt, and food coloring (if using), stirring to incorporate. Add marshmallows to butter mixture. Stir constantly (this is what makes the perfect, gooey-crisp consistency) until the marshmallows have melted completely. Remove from heat and add rice cereal, stirring to combine. Pour mixture into prepared pan, pressing the mixture into the corners to ensure it is evenly spread. Refrigerate for 45 minutes, then slice into squares and serve. To store, keep in an airtight container. Treats will last up to 3-4 days.