Choco-Coco Crisps

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I had pretty much a full package of marshmallows left over from my horrid disaster with s’mores, and a sizable chunk of baking chocolate that needed to be consumed before we left the province.

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So start with a giant pot and your gooey whites, around 40 large marshmallows.  Chuck them in the pot with 3 tablespoons butter and heat that on medium low, stirring frequently.Choco-Coco Crisps 3

While that’s on the go, butter two large baking dishes.

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Chop up about 4oz chocolate (I used milk chocolate) and use your microwave or a double boiler to melt it down.

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When the marshmallows start to melt, you can add in a few tablespoons vanilla extract and a few tablespoons coconut extract.  Be careful, as the alcohol in the extracts will fizz up.  Keep stirring as the marshmallows continue to desolidify.

Pour in the melted chocolate when the marshmallows are nearly entirely melted and remove the pot from the heat.  This will prevent your melted chocolate from seizing.

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Stir quickly until it’s all well combined.

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Pour in about 1 cup sweetened dessicated coconut and stir that up.

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Add in as well 6 cups crisped rice cereal and stir until it’s all evenly coated with chocolate goo.

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Using a buttered spatula or buttered hands, flatten the crispies into the buttered pans, pressing down firmly into the corners.

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Chop up about 8oz chocolate, melt that, and spread it thinly over the top of the crispies in both pans.

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Allow the chocolate to set for a bit, but cut your treats before it’s completely hardened.  Chill to set completely.

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And then, well, you eat them.  Simple as that.

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Treats Week: MacGyver Balls

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I would like to officially take credit for turning “MacGyver” into a verb.  It was about ten years ago, I think.  Since then, I’ve used it pretty much all the time.  And now it seems to be entering the general lexicon.  So that’s a win for me I think.  Or for whoever actually coined the term.  MacGyver, if you’re not aware, was a fantastic show from the late eighties about a dude who could save the world by solving science and physics problems with what he had at hand.  The joke is that he can defuse a nuclear bomb using only a paperclip.  And he probably did.  Macgyver was one of my heroes when I was a child.  I tend to “macgyver” a lot of things around our house, as I’m sure you’ve noticed.  It’s another form of “half-assed halfassery,” which is also a coinage of mine.  Anyway, I’ve heard it being used as a verb on TV now so I would like to take the credit while I can.  Although if you also invented the word then good on you too!

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Well, today I’m taking the term into the kitchen.  There’s a certain round chocolate confection of which I’m sure we’re all aware.  It comes wrapped in gold paper and commercials for it usually involve swanky parties of well-dressed demigods surrounding a pyramid made of the little shiny balls.  While what I’ve made below isn’t quite the version you can buy in the store, I think it’s a pretty decently-macgyvered version of the same.

Preheat your oven to 350°F.  Take 2 1/2 cups hazelnuts (filberts) and spread them on a baking sheet.

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Toast in your oven, shaking a couple times, for about 10 minutes, or until the skins start to blacken and bubble. Remove the nuts from the oven and plop in the centre of a clean tea towel.  Wrap the towel around the nuts and allow them to steam for a few minutes.

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Then rub the towel briskly over the nuts to remove the skins and allow the nuts to cool completely. If you don’t get all the skins off, don’t worry about it.

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When they are completely cool, pour them into a food processor to crush them into small pieces.

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Take about 3 cups Nutella (or store-brand alternative).  I am using the name brand because other versions are hard to get here in St. John’s and, well, it’s made by the company who makes the bon-bons I’m sort-of copying so I figure I’m on the right track, right?  Anyway, the jar contains approximately 3 cups of the stuff, so I’m going with that.  Scoop all that out into a bowl.

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Pour in 4 cups crisped rice cereal (AKA Rice Crispies) and mix those into the Nutella, making sure to get it all evenly combined without breaking too many of the rice bits.  In the real thing, there’s a ball of soft chocolate in the middle with a crunchy shell around it, but this is my version.

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If you wanted to be authentic you could make little spheres of frozen Nutella and roll them in the cereal. But that sounds hard.

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Take a spoon and start scooping balls of chocolate rice onto a sheet of waxed paper.  When you’ve got them all scooped, pop them in the freezer for an hour or two.  Mine I froze overnight.

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In the meantime, chop up 20 ounces dark chocolate and melt it in a double boiler or heat safe bowl suspended over a pot of simmering water.

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Allow the melted chocolate to cool to almost room temperature.  You want it cool enough it won’t melt the frozen Nutella balls, but not too cool that you can’t work with it.

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Spear a frozen Nutella ball with a skewer and dip it into the cooled chocolate.

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Roll the ball in the crushed hazelnuts until completely covered and lay on a sheet of waxed paper to cool completely and harden.

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The recipe above makes exactly 48 golf ball sized MacGuyver balls, so I’m sure you can use any fraction of this to make a smaller amount.

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