Friday, October 31, 2014

S'mores Rice Krispie Treats

When I think of rice krispie treats, I think of marshmallows and when I think of marshmallows I think of s'mores! S'mores just have that nostalgic taste that brings you back to your childhood of bonfires and camping (or at least it does for me). Most people nowadays don't realize that I use to be quite the rugged camper. I'm sure my college friends can't even picture me hooking a worm or going without a shower for a week. But yes, I did that all the time growing up and I loved it.

Ok, back to s'mores and rice krispies. So when this chain of thought brought me to s'mores, I couldn't wait to start experimenting in the kitchen. You see, I thought I came up with some novel idea to combine s'mores with rice krispie treats. I was slightly crushed when it only took 30 milliseconds to find 28 recipes for s'mores rice krispie treats on Pinterest. I was quite embarrassed that I thought I had some evolutionary culinary masterpiece in mind. However, I decided to stick with my original plan and create my own recipe instead of borrowing. Plus, how hard could it be to create a rice krispie variation? I didn't think I could mess this one up.

After my second try (yes, I did screw up on the first try), I was pretty pleased with the outcome. And I'm guessing others liked them too since I already washed the dish they were in! As s'mores and rice krispie treats imply, these dessert bars are sweet and chewy with a crunch. And there is plenty of chocolate to please my craving, so it should satisfy yours as well. Plus, overall this recipe is quick, easy and sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

Hope you enjoy!

1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter, melted

Rice Krispies:
5 1/2 c. mini marshmallows
2 tbsp. butter
6 c. Rice Krispies cereal

Chocolate coating:
1/2 c. chocolate chips
Any additional topping such as mini chocolate chips, graham cracker crumbs, or sprinkles

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Mix to combine. Make sure everything is evenly coated with the butter.
3. Press crust into a greased 13x9 dish. Bake for 7-10 minutes.
4. As the crust is baking, melt butter in a large pot on medium heat. Add the marshmallows and constantly stir to prevent burning.
5. Once the butter and marshmallows are a nice, smooth consistency, turn the heat off and add the rice krispie cereal.
6. Pour the rice krispie marshmallow mixture over the still warm crust. Press firmly in order for the two layers to stick. *I also melted a bit more marshmallows and put it in between the two layers as glue. I'm not sure how much good that actually did, but worth it if you're not convinced the layers will stay together without it.
7. Let cool for 1-2 hours.
8. Once cool, cut the treat outs with your favorite cookie cutter, or cut into squares.
9. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave for 1 minute or on low in a saucepan.
10. Dunk the treats in the melted chocolate and garnish with your favorite topping. Place on parchment paper to cool.
11. Let chocolate cool and harden for about 1-2 hours.
12. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Dulce De Leche Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats

I love me some Rice Krispie treats! They are so gooey, silky, buttery and crunchy all at the same time, and easy to make. I wonder if marshmallow haters also hate on RK treats?  I think the marshmallow part is what really draws me to them. I get where people are coming from though, but that chalky, dry and blandness of a marshmallow is really lost in a RK treat; these ones especially.

These start with two cans of sweetened condensed milk simmering away for a few hours. You are correct, I'm coming at you with more dulce de leche this week. I can't help myself. Its like a super easy, no stress caramel.

No stress assuming I didn't scare you the other week with warnings about cans exploding. They won't explode if you are careful, something about the water, science and the sweetened condensed milk being viscous. More importantly, it hasn't happened to me.

Use the deepest pot you have and be sure to check on the water level and all will be well. You can always buy dulce de leche at the store too, but where is the fun in that?

Other than the planning ahead on the dulce de leche, these RK treats come together really quick. Essentially the same method for making classic RK treats. Easy peasy, but with a "gourmet" twist and chocolate on top. Delicious!

I had originally planned to combine the chocolate and dulce de leche instead of swirling it. Do not attempt to combine them. Ever since sometime during my sophomore year of high school, I've had a tendency to burn chocolate.

That is what I thought happened on my first attempt at melting the chocolate and dulce de leche together, to create a smooth and cohesive topping. Fail. I tried again, this time only adding a tiny bit of dulce de leche to the melted chocolate, and boom, bam! It seized up and got all grainy and weird.

Therefore, gently swirling the dulce de leche into the chocolate already on top of the RK treats is the way to go. Anyone know why the dulce de leche would do this to chocolate? They were both the same temperature. It is lost on me. May never know. I'll survive though.

Anyways, these are pretty fantastic. Almost like a scotcharoo bar. Except it isn't.  My only word of caution would be to eat them within about 24 hours. They get a bit soggy otherwise, still tasty, but soggy. Storing them in the refrigerator really helps slow this.

 Lucky for you they take about 15 minutes to throw together and about an hour for the chocolate to set, but the chocolate doesn't have to be set. I know I wanted to dig in right away, but restraint is something I'm working on these days.


For dulce de leche:
2 cans sweetened condensed milk

For Rice Krispies: 
1 can dulce de leche
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 - 10oz package mini-marshmallows 
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
6 cups Rice Krispies
For chocolate topping:
1 bag dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup dulce de leche

to make the dulce de leche:
Remove the label from the sweetened condensed milk cans. Place the cans in a pot and cover completely with water. Bring the pot to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer and let simmer for about 2 ½ – 3 hours, making sure to add more water as necessary to keep the cans fully submerged in water (I have a medium saucepan and refill the water every 30-45 minutes). Remove the cans of dulce de leche from water and let cool to room temperature.

to make the Rice Krispies:
In a large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add dulce de leche and salt, whisking until combined and smooth. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. Add Rice Krispies cereal. Stir until well coated. Using buttered spatula or wax paper evenly press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray.

While the Rice Krispie treats cool,  using a microwave-safe container, place chocolate in microwave at medium power (50 percent) for 2 minutes. Remove and stir. If chocolate is not melted, return to microwave and repeat heating step, stirring every 30 seconds to avoid scorching, until smooth. In a separate microwave-safe container, put 1/2 cup dulce de leche, with a pinch of salt, in the microwave for 30 seconds; stir until smooth.

Spread the chocolate evenly over the cooled Rice Krispies, using a knife or fork, place tablespoons of dulce de leche evenly over the chocolate, and then swirl into the chocolate. Allow chocolate to set and cut into desired shape and size. Best served the same day, but will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Similar posts: Dulce de Leche Pumpkin Cake, Salted Caramel Brownies, Salted Caramels

Monday, October 27, 2014

Pumpkin Pie Rice Krispie Treats

We're doing things a little differently around here this week.  Prepare yourself for a mini theme week of all things rice krispies!  To start things off I'm sharing this recipe for Pumpkin Pie Rice Krispie Treats.

Rice krispies treats are one of those classic kinds of snacks.  Somehow I find myself forgetting about them a lot of times when I'm thinking of a treat to make.  I think it might be because they're so simple to make and that there is no baking in the oven required.  When they do slip into my mind and I choose to whip up a batch I'm never disappointed.

It's also easy to forget how versatile of a treat it can be.  Add peanut butter.  Smother them in chocolate.  Stir in sprinkles.  The possibilities are endless!

Seeing as Halloween is only a few days away and I'm in a full on pumpkin mindset, I knew I wanted to incorporate the flavor into my rice krispies.  The key to using pumpkin puree in rice krispie treats is not using too much because the cereal will get soggy, but to compliment the pumpkin with the flavor of your favorite pumpkin pie spices; cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves!  If you want to make them a little more festive looking, mix in some Halloween sprinkles, cut them with cookie cutters or shape them into balls and add a little stem.  The possibilities are endless and I'm sure they'll be just as enjoyable any way.


Recipe slightly adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction.


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree (blot moisture out of pumpkin puree with a paper towel)
  • 10 ounces of mini marshmallows
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 6 cups rice krispie cereal
  1. Grease a 9x13 pan and set aside for later.
  2. In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter.  Stir in pumpkin puree until warmed.  Fold in marshmallows, frequently mixing until they are almost melted.  Stir in vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Remove from heat.
  3. Let mixture sit for 20-30 minutes, or until it reaches room temperature, occasionally stirring so a hard layer does not form on surface.
  4. Stir in rice krispie cereal and mix until all cereal appears to be coated.
  5. Pour into prepared pan.  Grease either your hands or a spatula to press mixture into pan.  Put pan in refrigerator to set for 30 minutes.  Cut and enjoy!

If you like this recipe, you may also like:

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Kelsey's Sunday Brunch

Happy Sunday everyone!  We're having some great weather here in Madison this weekend.  We went to the Badger's Homecoming football game yesterday and there were people in shorts and t-shirts, not your average late October wardrobe.

Despite the warmer weather, I've been really getting into the knitting zone lately.  I made a red and white Badger version of this slouchy hat last weekend and just finished up a maroon and silver chunky infinity scarf.  I've been thinking about opening an online shop to sell some of my knitted projects but I haven't decided for sure yet.  Any other knitters out there?!

With Halloween coming up, we carved our pumpkins this weekend.  Nate, my sister Avery, her boyfriend Jon and I are having a little contest.  I'll post a picture when we light them up later and you can let us know which one you like best.  We're also painting a pumpkin teal to participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project.  If you have a teal pumpkin on your porch it signifies that you have a non-food option for those trick or treaters with food allergies.

Last weekend Nate and I had our engagement pictures taken.  We chose to take them at the Memorial Union where we got engaged.  This one is my favorite and we've picked it for our postcard save the dates which we designed and ordered from Zazzle.

Don't forget, midterm elections are coming up on November 4th!  Check out this election guide if you need to get informed.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies

First there was Dulce de Leche Pumpkin Cake (yum), then there was Pumpkin Pound Cake (delish), and now I bring you Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies because Badger Kitchen is currently chugging along on a pumpkin sweets train this month.

You know how there are those special moments in life that are just so memorable that you'll never forget?  I remember picking out our family dog because my sister and I decided he had the softest fur and getting to have him sit on my lap for half the ride home (sharing is caring).  I remember getting engaged and crying my eyes out for a good ten minutes afterwards.  I also remember the first time I baked and ate pumpkin snickerdoodle cookies in my college apartment on a crisp October.

Being the good daughter I am (and because my parents lived 20 minutes away so I'd go home to do laundry), I took my mom a couple of cookies to enjoy and shared the recipe upon request.  It then got shared with Gramma, sisters, aunts and so on.  And now here I am sharing it with you!

To say that these cookies are life changing isn't too far from the truth.  They are superior to the average snickerdoodle cookie thanks to the added pumpkin and spices.  The additional moisture from the pumpkin puree also keeps the cookies chewy, which is good if you're not a fan of hard cookies like me.

The original recipe that I found is so good that has received such rave reviews that I've never felt the need to alter it.  The only change I make is that sometimes I will add a little more pumpkin than the recipe calls for, depending on if I'm in a super pumpkiney mood or not.  Oh, and don't discriminate, pumpkin snickerdoodle cookies can be enjoyed year round!


Recipe from Sweet Pea's Kitchen.


  • 2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree (increase to 1 or 1 1/4 cups if desired)
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or different large bowl to be used for mixing) cream butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar until light and fluffy, or about two minutes.  Beat in egg.  Then beat in pumpkin puree.  Add dry ingredients from separate bowl and slowly beat in.
  4. In a separate small bowl, stir together 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon.
  5. Form dough into 1 1/2 inch balls and roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture until coated.  Space apart evenly on baking sheet.
  6. Bake one cookie sheet of cookies at a time for 10-12 minutes, or until edges of cookies are starting to brown but centers are still puffy and soft.
Tip: Cookies freeze well either after baking and fully cooled, or in dough ball form without cinnamon-sugar coating.

If you like this recipe, be sure to check out:

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Brittany's Sunday Brunch

Hello brunchers! So I was looking back at my Fall list and realized I'm semi-slacking. No pumpkin patch pictures or winery tours. I haven't been all lazy though, some things I have checked off and some fun things have been happening off-list.

Just a few days ago, I spent a lovely evening with great friends, food and drinks. Badger Kitchen and friends met up at Merchant, a local Madison restaurant. Merchant thrives on craft cocktails and fresh, local ingredients. Also, the crafty, upscale tavern feel gives it the perfect ambiance for a meet-up with friends. Laughing over cheese curds, pasta and fruit inspired cocktails was the perfect way to end the work week.

Other non-list activities included wedding fun! My fiancé and I have been having so much fun doing the little things, like picking out our wedding bands and going through boat-loads of stamps as we address our save the dates. Our wedding is finally next in the family so now it's really getting exciting!

But, I haven't forgotten about my list, guys. Don't worry. Cooking with fall flavors has been checked and rechecked off the list. But that was a give-in. Yesterday, we did one of the things I enjoy the most that's on the list; we went to the dog park. Not only do we have one happy off leash camper, we get quite the beautiful view to admire over, too. Even if you don't have a dog, I highly recommend visiting Indian Lake north of Middleton. They even have non-dog park walking trails if you're self-conscious without a dog. Trust me, it's worth going this time of year. To convince you all, I let go of my self-consciousness and posted this picture of a very tired me with no makeup. It's totally worth it.

Have a great upcoming week, friends!

- Brittany

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Pumpkin Pound Cake

I could start this post taking about how much I love pumpkin and how when baking this recipe I was drinking pumpkin spice flavored coffee and had a pumpkin scented candle burning, but then this would sound like every other wonderful pumpkin blog post out there. When it comes to fall, who doesn't like pumpkin [cough, besides my fiancé, cough]?

Earlier in the summer when Badger Kitchen was thinking up the coming months' themes, pumpkin just couldn't be overlooked. But come October (ok, ok I was thinking about this since September), I just couldn't decided on a recipe to try. I really wanted to step out of my comfort zone and try something, non-baked good recipe. You know, get away from the traditional cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin trio recipe. But I was afraid of not liking it and my fiancé not even trying it. So, baked good it is. However, I've never had pumpkin pound cake before. I was pretty excited when I found this.

This recipe is super easy. Believe me, I made this after a very long wedding weekend while finishing up scientific figures for a grant and doing laundry and keeping the dog occupied. It reminds me of banana bread in the fact that it's really good without much effort. Also, this pound cake has the texture like banana bread in that it's dense but [dare I use the word] moist. Also, that cup of pumpkin goes a long way! I was afraid of it being bland but this pound cake is far from! The only thing I would do differently next time is maybe add a walnut or oatmeal topping to give it more texture diversity.

Bon Appétit,

Slightly adapted from Something Swanky

1 1/2 c. All Purpose Flour
1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. Ground Cloves
1/4 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
1 c. Granulated Sugar
1/2 c. Brown Sugar
1/2 c. Vanilla Yogurt
3 Egg Whites
1 c. Canned Pumpkin

Fall sprinkles optional (but why not? After all, it is cake)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bread pan or mini loaf pan.
2. Combine flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cloves and nutmeg.
3. In a separate bowl add together the sugars, yogurt and egg whites. Mix until blended.
4. Fold pumpkin into the wet ingredients. Then add the dry ingredients. Stir just until all is blended together.
5. Pour into pan (should make about 8-9 mini loaves).
6. Bake for 60 minutes if large bread pan or 25 minutes if mini loaf pan.
7. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

April's Sunday Brunch

Welcome to another Sunday funday brunch!

I've really started to like sharing these monthly post with you all! I'm deep into my last semester of graduate school and beyond ready for it to be done. Most days I feel like everything I do is for school and I don't have the time to do anything fun. I mean even the cat is pitching in at this point, learning by osmosis.

These posts remind me that I do do a lot of fun and good things going on in my life. I may not get to cook or exercise as much as I would like, but my school situation isn't as dire as I make it out to be most days. I hope you enjoy some aspect of these posts as much I do.

I went apple picking earlier this month at Door Creek Orchard. I'm still working on using them all up! Maybe some applesauce?

There have been a lot of fires in the fire place and lots of trips to my parents for more wood. I'm happy I have such a pyromaniac lumberjack for a boyfriend and get all the enjoyment without any of the work. I'm a good supervisor when it comes down to it all. We went through all that wood last weekend...

I've been eating well most weeks too, whether it is eating out or at home! My mother got a membership at The Madison Club and we went to brunch. I went to The Blue Marlin with my parents the other week and had the most delicious octopus and lobster. Everything is always delicious there, one of my favorite spots.

I went home for a Packer game and kindly used up some avocados for my mother, with this guacamole. Avocado, corn, mango, onion is heaven. I wish decent, fresh corn was around all year long. Pizza is one of my favorite things to eat while watching football. This one has a bunch of Fraboni's meats, cheese and a few random vegs. It was amazing.

Hung out on The Pontoon Porch with a bunch of awesome coworkers and friends this weekend. Has anyone in Madison seen this amazing structure on Lake Monona or been on it before? It was pretty rad, even if it was rather chilly. Must try it next summer. Who is in?!

What are you doing to enjoy the early months of fall? I'm heading to warmer weather in California and a brief vacation from school!

Be sure to follow me on Instagram (@badgerkitchen) and follow us on Facebook!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Dulce de Leche Pumpkin Cake

Its pumpkin time! Hopefully you aren't already sick of everything pumpkin because we got a lot of pumpkin coming your way.

Do we all remember better than sex cake from about 10 years ago? That is what I was going for here, pumpkin better than sex cake. Because I can't seem to help myself, I not only changed the cake to pumpkin but changed the sweetened condensed milk to dulce de leche.

This is not a typical recipe for me at all. I'm usually very against boxed cake. It doesn't take that long to mix up your ingredients, lets be honest, but sometimes you have to trash things up and make them super easy, semi-homemade and decadent, because sometimes they just taste better that way.

Whip cream is another easy thing to make at home, but it doesn't really stand up to cool whip. I'm secretly a huge fan of cool whip amongst other super processed dairy items. Nacho cheese, anyone? Velvetta?!  Love. I try to avoid them because they are so processed, but sometimes you just have to give into that guilty pleasure.

Back to the cake, you can choose to use the sweetened condensed milk and not turn it into dulce de leche, but I think you would be missing out. There isn't any work involved in making it, other than making sure it stays covered in water. You wouldn't want it to explode. Not to alarm you, but honesty is important in any relationship.

The cake is sort of dense, chewy and moist. It isn't overly sweet. I really like that some, but not all, of the dulce de leche soaks into the cake while some rests on top too. So indulgent and fall like! It got rave reviews from all my friends and by friend I mean my boyfriend and dearest friend, Leah, who also happens to be the photographer for this post!


1 can sweetened condensed milk (label removed)

1 box yellow cake mix
1 14 oz. can pumpkin puree
1- 8oz container cool whip
1/2 cup heath bits

Dulce de leche:
  1. In a large pot, fill with water to cover the can of sweetened condensed milk. Over high heat, bring to a boil Let simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, making sure to add more water as necessary. Remove the can of dulce de leche from the water and let cool to room temperature.
Pumpkin cake:
  1. Preheat an oven to 350F. Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish and set aside. 
  2. In a large bowl, combine cake mix and pumpkin puree (add only the pumpkin puree to the cake mix; DO NOT add any of the ingredients listed on the box, like eggs), until a smooth batter forms.
  3.  Pour batter into prepared pan (it was pretty thick and made a thin layer, not to fear though!) and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. 
  4. Remove cake from pan and let cool for 10 minutes. Using the end of a wooden spoon, poke holes all over the cake. 
  5. Place the dulce de leche in a microwave safe container and reheat for 30 seconds and pour over the cake, spreading evenly over the cake and filling in the holes (a spatula is helpful here depending on how viscous the dulce de leche is). Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes or overnight.
  6. Spread cool whip evenly over cake and sprinkle heath bits evenly on top. Cake is best enjoyed in 2 to 3 days.
Similar posts: Pumpkin Cheese Cake, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars, Cranberry Upside Down Cake

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Kelsey's Sunday Brunch

The past couple of weeks have been a little crazy in my neck of the woods.  It's looked a little something like this: pack up apartment, take LSAT, move out of apartment and put everything in my parent's garage, live on the streets for a week (just kidding, more like my sister's guest bedroom), and now we're currently in the process of moving everything out of my parent's garage and into our new place.  Needless to say there hasn't been a whole lot of cooking going on.  I'm excited to whip something up in this new kitchen and figure out the best spot in the house for photo taking, bear with me on that one.

Yesterday I went to my first beer festival!  A group of us went to the Quivey's Grove Beer Fest and it was a lot of fun despite the chilly weather.  There were over 40 breweries there, mostly from the Midwest, and I got to try lots of new beers.  One of my favorites was the MobCraft Cinnamon Apple, so tasty!  We strung our pretzel necklaces ahead of time and also sampled the cheese curds they had for sale.

The Kitchn is hosting a free 20 lesson Cooking School starting tomorrow (October 6th) that I signed up for.  You can sign up for it here and join me in learning some new tricks or brushing up on some old skills.

Looking for some grilled cheese inspiration?  The Grilled Cheese Academy just released the 2014 Grilled Cheese Recipe Showdown Book of Champions and it's available for free download!

21 Amazing Food Moments You Need to Experience This Fall, how many have you tried?

The Best of Madison ballots are open.  Don't forget to write in Badger Kitchen for the Local Food Blog category under Arts & Entertainment!  We'll send some good karma your way if you do :)

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Pumpkin Recipe Roundup

October is officially here and with that being said we have decided to officially declare it Pumpkin Month here at Badger Kitchen! (As if you didn't see that one coming.)  And while it is totally cliche to be focusing on pumpkin during the month of October, we can't help it because we just love pumpkin everything so we assume everyone else does as well!

To kick the month off we're doing a little recap of all things pumpkin!

This pumpkin french toast bread pudding can double as either a decadent breakfast or a unique dessert, and since there's already a splash of bourbon in it, you might as well pour yourself a drink to enjoy as well while you're at it.

If you're looking to go the more traditional route, you can never go wrong with this pumpkin bread.  It's my family's go-to pumpkin bread recipe and a slice goes great served up as an afternoon snack.

Don't forget to check out these other pumpkin recipes as well:

Check back for other new pumpkin recipes coming throughout the month!


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