What is your worst baking disaster saga? Mine was when my double swiss chocolate and blackberry soufflé only rose an embarrassing three inches instead of four.
Don’t buy it? Yeah, I pretty much rolled my eyes as I typed that. Sadly, my most brutal kitchen disasters involve recipes with such little complexity that any discussion about it becomes that much more difficult. Here’s how I remember the nightmare going down:
I was baking several items for a party that day so I decided to start with the easiest one. Of course no dress rehearsal was required to make these painfully simple and publicly published crisped rice treats. I pulled out the worn, deep-bellied pot from the cabinet and got the burner humming underneath. Meanwhile, I measured out what I remember to be an astoundingly large mound of crisped rice as well as white pillow after pillow of marshmallows tumbling silently into their plastic measuring cup. I can’t remember if I was so arrogant in assuming that my attention need not be entirely on the following steps or if I truly made an error in execution, but before I knew it, all the ingredients were combined into the sweet melted goo in the pot and then chaos started to unleash. After but a a few seconds of stirring to combine the rice into its web of mallow, my spoon slowed to a screeching halt. I felt like one of Medusa’s victims slowing to stop with a face of horror yelling “Noooooooo!” before I became permanently motionless in an almost solid block of rice and mallow.
I moved as quickly as an EMT attempting to rescue their victim in the final seconds and transported my nearly solid mess to its final, well-greased resting place. Every second it got cooler and cooler and more and more lifeless. In its final moments, my crispy blob reached with its last warm breath to the corners and sides of the pan. It never made it.
What resulted that day was a pile of mallow and rice rubble. There were two giant clumps of tormented rice krispies in a pan with arms jutting out in every direction from my wooden spoon attempting to manipualate it’s stubborn disposition and plenty of shiny silver on the bottom of the pan glowing free and empty. With a pan full of loose, crisped rice tossed with clumps of hard crisp-covered chunks, I had basically made an edible kitty litter box of krispies.
The embarrassment was palpable. Those happy little elves upon that bright blue box now seemed to be taunting me in laughter rather than what I interpreted as encouraging joy only moments ago. Obviously unable to serve these to my guests, I mentally scrambled to find a logical use for them. I could definitely pass these out at a Halloween-themed party. I could just imagine all the compliments. “Ew, did you see the kitty litter krispies? They are right behind the Dracula blood punch, cool!” My idea was almost genius…
Sadly, it was January. And with no holiday in reach, and after recoiling my mind from trying to spin it as an early preparation for the Easter Bunny’s toiletry needs, I decided to do what anyone else would do: hide the evidence.
I cleaned everything so that the bowls were never there. The krispies were never there. I was never there. If that’s not successfully coping with failure, I don’t know what is. To add insult to injury my cat, suddenly hungry from her hectic nap schedule, sauntered in haughtily as if she knew. They always know. This last part everyone seems to think I made up but I swear at that exact moment I saw her lips speak to me “Even I wouldn’t use that…” True story.
To this day I have never attempted to make that simple, classic treat again. But not all baking endeavors can be successful. Luckily, Nature’s Path Pumpkin-n-Spice Flax Plus bars are an amazing chewy granola and crisped rice bar that allows me to leave krispie confrontation for a time when I’m much older. And preferably dead.
The warm autumn-colored box that holds six of these yummy babies is of perfect dimensions. Almost square and begging to be a tag along in a gym bag or work desk drawer, this box is ideal for taming that unexpected energy craving any day of the week.
Each of the six bars comes dressed in a plastic wrapper that allows you to feel the wonderfully imperfect homemade rectangular shape of the snack. When that picket-like edge is torn into, you realize very quickly that you are dealing with an experienced crowd pleaser. You must strategize and slow the removal of the wrapper to keep the oat or flax pieces from deciding to use their sweet and slightly sticky binding to cleave to the shiny silver interior of its wrapper. If you’re like me however, I enjoy seeing some stick to the wrapper so when I’m done eating the bar I get to lick my fingers, lick the wrapper, lick the table where I left the wrapper….yeah, you get the point.
The treat itself has beautiful cinnamon specks throughout it that add to the already cozy brown rice and oat appearance. The deep brown flax seeds and green pumpkin seeds that are mixed in make this bar worthy of inspiring an interior decorator’s comfy living room color pallet.
If you close your eyes and lightly breathe in you will get the sensation that you are leaning over a beckoning bowl of sweet cinnamon breakfast oatmeal. This cinnamon spice combination does not need to be confined to the little date boxes found on your November wall calendar. You should rejoice in this taste year round.
The beauty of this snack is that it also contains the gooey quality that the classic krispie bar possesses.
It crisps in your mouth the same way as krispie bar but the chew here comes more from the oats and gooey sugar rather than harshly sweet marshmallow binding.
Packed with nutty whole grains, a sprinkle of omegas and a homerun taste profile, this bar is truly special. It seems to please even the most venerable of critics. Those are the ones that know. They always know.
After pouring over textbooks for hours searching for the perfect mathematical equation to get the exact portrayal of these amazing flavors across, I was bewildered that Nature’s Path had not only gotten there first but even published it on their box:
Enough said. These Pumpkin-n-Spice bars are just one grocery trip away…what are you waiting for?