Happy Birthday to youDecember 30, 2009
Today is mrslovey’s birthday. Due to the timing, amidst the holidays, she has often felt that the day gets overlooked, sometimes shrugged off as people are making their plans for a fun night on the town. We learned long ago that trying to go out to a nice dinner on the actual day was an exercise in frustration – restaurants are overcrowded, with very limited menus. Now our tradition is to do birthday dinner out a little later (last year we didn’t go out until March, but damned if it wasn’t one of the best dining experiences we had all year!). Anyway. To keep the day itself feeling special, I offer mrslovey the cake/baked good of her choice. Whether it’s an old standby or something new that she’s curious about, I’ll do my darndest to provide.
This year’s selection is actually a repeat from a couple years ago – Krispie Treat Layer Cake. Apparently it made quite the impression the first time around, so we’re gonna do it again! It’s mostly a standard Krispie Treat in a different shape, with a slight revision or two.
Many moons ago, when we lived in the Midwest, there was a local coffee shop next to the store I worked at (this is relevant, promise, just bear with me). Now I’ve never been much of a coffee drinker, but the staff were nice, and they had a small selection of baked goods available. The most glorious of all their offerings were Krispie Treat Muffins. Big, beautiful, amazing orbs of Krispie goodness. Frustrating, because no matter how many times I tried, theirs were always better. Finally, I resorted to begging. “Coffeebaking girl, puhleeeeeeease tell me what makes your Treats so special!!!!!” Her response? Vanilla. Yeah, that’s not at ALL in the original recipe.
Several moons after *that*, when we were back in New England, and I was all proud of my vanillafied Treats, one of my coworkers got married (again, wait for it!). The wedding was beautiful, the reception was a shimmery fairy tale, but the most important part was that for their honeymoon, they went to Puerto Rico. AND BROUGHT ME BACK PUERTO RICAN VANILLA. Totally different flavor profile, let me tell you. Not quite coconut, but definitely tropical. Try as I may, that’s the only word I can come up with to describe it. This discovery has brought my Treats up to a new level of wonderful – now people beg ME “lovey, puhleeeease tell me what makes your Treats so awesome!!!” I tell them about vanilla, and if they’re really lucky, I’ll tell them about Puerto Rican vanilla.
So mrslovey, on this, the occasion of your 38th birthday, I humbly present to you the most awesome Krispie Cake ever, the one with the Fluff frosting between the layers. Also, my love and devotion.
KRISPIE TREAT LAYER CAKE
6 tablespoons butter
20 oz marshmallows
2 teaspoons vanilla (Puerto Rican if you’ve got it)
handful of rainbow nonpareils (optional)
12 cups Rice Krispie cereal
16 oz jar of marshmallow fluff
*Spray three 9-inch cake pans with non-stick spray. Trust me, this is a necessary step.
*Combine butter and marshmallows in a large pot (I use an 8qt non-stick stock pot) over medium low heat. Stir constantly. Right when you think you’ll fall asleep from boredom, everything starts to melt! Keep stirring, even though you’re impatient and want it to be done NOW, until everything is melted and smooth, with marshmallow strings trying to stick to the sides of the pot.
*Add vanilla and nonpareils, and stir until both are evenly incorporated into the goo.
*Add the cereal, and then stir, stir, and stir some more, until everything is well mixed. Divide the mixture into your three cake pans. I like to spray my hands with non-stick for this next part, but some people just use waxed paper. Using the method of your choice, firmly press your mixture into the cake pans, taking care to make them as even as possible.
*Let cool completely – I tend to give them overnight.
*Take first layer out of the pan, put a small blob of fluff on the bottom, and then place firmly onto your cake round or serving dish. The fluff is important, as it will help keep things in place for the next steps.
*On top of the first layer, spread a thin layer of fluff. You don’t need a lot, as the fluff will naturally spread as it warms, and will ooze out the edges a little. Repeat with remaining layers.
*On top of the final layer, you’ll want to go thicker on the fluff, since this is your ‘frosting’.
*You are now the proud owner of a super cool cake – decorate as you see fit!
(note: this cuts best with a serrated knife, but due to the nature of the ingredients, it does take a little effort)