Cooking with Kids
to Make Chocolate Covered Rice Crispy Treats
By Rick Quatraro
How would you like an idea for a fun activity to do with your children? How about something that will give your kids a sense of accomplishment that will make them feel like a grown up? Baking is just that activity. It gives kids practice to improve their invaluable skills in the kitchen, which they'll need later in life. The best choices for recipes should be easy to make and allow for some creativity such as shapes, colors or toppings, and of course, the most important "ingredient", they should taste great! So what's something that your kids will love to make and eat?
You got it- rice crispy treats. There are 3 different approaches that we'll take in this article, but with some twists. We will make normal rice crispy treats, mixed ones and chocolate covered. You've all made rice crispy treats before so let's have some fun with the normal kind and discuss shapes. You can do the traditional squares by filling the rice crispy treat mix in a square or rectangular pan and cutting out the pieces, but you could also have some extra fun. Get some cake pans with different shapes. You can find a variety of many different shapes, anything from their favorite characters, seasonal shapes, for example, Halloween or Christmas, as well as various small normal shapes like stars or mini bundt cakes. The cake pans come big or small and can be found at any store that sells baking supplies or online.
Before you finish up all the mix take half of it and blend in your favorite hard candies to add flavor and a contrast of texture, whether they're M&Ms, Reese's Pieces or cinnamon candies. Have some more fun, why not try soft candies too? Try some multi-colored chocolate chips or your favorite gummy candies, maybe Sour Patch Kids.
Want some more unique ideas? Mix in chocolate flavored rice crisped cereal with the mix to create multi-flavored treats. Just have the kids help with stirring the mix after it's removed from the heat (microwave or stove top), mixing in the candies and pressing the mix into your choice of pan. Your kids will love their rice crispy creations and can take them to school to share with their classmates and they also make great teachers gifts. But the fun is just beginning. You could combine all these elements for the "grand finale".
Now we are going to create chocolate covered rice crispy treats!
I prefer to use a double boiler to melt my chocolate which is one pan sitting inside a bigger pan. You heat up the water on medium heat in the bottom pan and place grated milk chocolate or milk chocolate chips in the top one. You can also use the microwave by melting chips in a small microwavable bowl. First, heat up the chips for one minute and 10 seconds stir and then again in 10-second intervals. The chips will not melt to a liquid form just by heating the chips up. You must stir them with a metal spoon once they show signs of melting. No matter the shape of treat, dip it into the chocolate at least half way over the treat and place on a baking sheet lined with wax or parchment paper. Add some sprinkles or colored sugar or even use white chocolate!
Your kids will love all the different varieties. Let their creativity run wild and make sure to take their works of art as gifts to their teachers, friends, grandparents or relatives. Let your "little chefs" boast how good their treats look and taste!
Cooking with kids is a fun, creative activity in which the parent and child can interact together and produce a tasty treat. Rice Crispy Treats make great homemade gifts for grandparents, teachers and more, and will make those you care about feel special.