Nutella Rice Krispies Easter baskets(Read article summary)
A holiday chocolate basket to hold all those mini Cadbury eggs.
The Pastry Chef's Baking
Easter snuck on up me this year. Actually, all the special occasion days have: Pi Day (didn't make a pie), St Patrick's Day (didn't make anything green), Mardi Gras (no King Cake – OK, I probably wouldn't have made one anyway but still....), and so on.
It didn't help that we've had rain off and on for the past three weeks and it's been more winter than spring whereas winter was more spring than winter. So my seasonal timetables are all messed up. And now it's April. Yikes.
I am surfacing long enough to realize ahead of time that Easter is this Sunday. When I was a kid, we didn't do the whole Easter bunny/egg hunt thing at my house. Easter was more about Jesus and dressing a little more nicely on Easter Sunday in new spring clothes. As an adult, Easter is still about Jesus for me but I also enjoy a good chocolate egg here and there, primarily the Cadbury mini eggs with the hard shell coating and milk chocolate inside.
I also like the Cadbury caramel eggs with the liquid caramel inside a milk chocolate shell. Alas, however, I am indifferent at best, dislike at worst, all other Easter candy. The ones I'm indifferent to are all the candies you can get at any other holiday except at Easter, they're pastel colored and egg shaped. But Peeps? Oh no. They're marshmallows without Rice Krispies. And dyed marshmallows at that. Plus they come in weird shapes. I don't enjoy the visual of sinking my teeth into a gummy, stretchy, dyed bunny head or a baby chick; no real self-respecting bunny or chick would actually be any of those colors nor would I bite their heads off either. Sorry, Easter bunny, not in my kitchen.
But I do like to pay homage to my annual bag of Cadbury mini eggs. Last year for Easter, I made Chocolate Easter baskets using pretzels coated with chocolate to form a mini basket for my favorite Easter candy. This year, I took inspiration from two different blogs, Will Cook for Smiles using the Rice Krispies treat recipe to form baskets and Chef in Training's blog for the Nutella addition. This is a really simple and easy recipe to make. For the basket shape, I used a pan I got from Sur La Table that makes a well in the center. But you don't need any fancy pans to make baskets. If you don't want to freeform shape baskets by hand, turn a mini muffin tin over and shape the warm Rice Krispies mixture around each cavity. Then gently slip them off when they've set a bit. You can also use a regular size muffin tin if you want a bigger size basket. If you have kids, this is a fun recipe to make with them, especially for little ones.
I've made some slight modifications to the recipe and instructions I found (see below) as adding the Nutella into the melted marshmallow/butter mixture almost made the mixture seize and made it difficult to incorporate enough Rice Krispies into it. So I suggest warming up the Nutella first to get it to blend more easily without having to cook the marshmallow mixture more than necessary. If you overcook the marshmallows, your Rice Krispies treats will get too hard when they cool.
Nutella Rice Krispies Easter Baskets
5-6 cups Rice Krispies (I never measure, just add however much you can get in there)
1 10.5-ounce bag mini marshmallows
1/4 cup butter
1 cup Nutella
Melt butter and mini marshmallows over low heat until just barely melted, stirring constantly.
Warm Nutella in the microwave at 30-second intervals until it's liquid but not too hot. Add to the barely melted marshmallow mixture and stir to incorporate. Take off the heat and add Rice Krispies.
Work quickly to form the baskets using a turned-over mini muffin pan. Shape gently, let cool, and then turn right side up. When completely cooled and set, fill with your favorite Easter candy.