I don’t have a lot of experience with star crunches – a little Debbie thing – but I have a friend who asked if I could make them for him. I get the impression it was because it was a favorite childhood treat. So, given a challenge of any sort, I just try to make it work.
First thing I noticed was no-bake, which in my head usually means no-brain involved – there it is – I said it. Suffice to say this is a fancy rice crispy treat – had no idea.
So this is not difficult to do, but it takes a bit of time and I already have some changes for the next time. No surprise.
11 ozs caramels
4 Tbs unsalted butter
2 cups mini marshmallows (about 1/2 bag)
4 cups rice crispy cereal
12 ozs bag Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips
2 Tbs vegetable shortening
Line a baking sheet with parchment*. Measure out the 4 cups if rice crispy cereal. In a large glass bowl, add (unwrapped) caramels and microwave in 30 second bits, stirring as you go. When caramels are mostly melted, add the butter and keep up the same routine. The butter and caramels won’t completely come together. There will be little pools of butter. Add marshmallows and keep doing the same 30 second thing.
Once all is as close to combined as you can get it, add the cereal and stir to completely combine. Quickly, using wet hands, shape into disks. Place on parchment to cool and firm up. Cover with plastic wrap at let sit 2 hours or up to overnight.
In a large microwave safe bowl, add chocolate and vegetable shortening. Melt in a 15 second interval. The original recipe said to do this with half at a time and that was a saving grace. You didn’t scorch the whole batch, but could work with half at a time while keeping the chocolate flexible enough to work with (hate ending a sentence this way). I just used my hand to dip the disks in chocolate and it worked well. Put them right back on the parchment sheet and put in the fridge to set up. They can sit out at room temperature after this point, but I kept them in the fridge and thawed for a few minutes before eating.
These went over famously at work. I guess it was because I !finally! made something chocolate. My friend who asked for it said it wasn’t quite right (Again, no frame of reference), and who am I to argue, but the raves of others made up for that.
Bench Notes: my gut told me, and I should have listened, not to use milk chocolate. Ugh (Have you ever seen the movie Groundhog Day? When Andie McDowell realizes she tried fudge. “Yuck. I don’t even like fudge.”) Yep. That’s how I’m feeling about this milk chocolate right now. Ghirardelli is always the way to go, but I should have used semisweet instead.
* Just received refillable parchment from King Arthur Flour for this baking season. Woo hoo excited. And that, my friends, means I’m easily amused.