These cookies are a cross between a homemade piece of caramel and a Rice Krispies treat. If you’ve never made homemade caramel before, this recipe is a perfect place to start. Although there’s some stovetop cooking involved, this is a no-bake cookie, so no need to turn your oven on. When I call these cookies, I use the term loosely. I think they’re actually more like a piece of candy. The interesting thing about these is that the Rice Krispies actually stay crunchy, so you end up with chewy caramel with a crunch.
You’ll need a candy thermometer to make these. You’ll also need Diamond Crystal kosher salt. No substitutes, please. If you don’t already have a box, it’s worth getting one. Diamond Crystal is the best kosher salt to use when baking.
Definitely buy a good quality milk chocolate. No Hershey bars here. And next time I make this, I will definitely use 2 full cups of Rice Krispies. I used 1 1/2 cups this time and will definitely up the amount next time.
Recipe from Serious Eats
4 ounces water (1/2 cup; 115g)
7 ounces sugar (1 cup; 200g)
1/2 teaspoon (2g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt; other salts may contain additives that induce crystallization
10 ounces heavy cream (1 1/4 cup; 280g), straight from the fridge
3 ounces milk chocolate, minimum 26% cocoa butter (2/3 cup; 85g), very finely chopped
1 1/2 – 2 cups Rice Krispies
Combine water, sugar, and salt in a 3-quart stainless steel saucier over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally with a fork until sugar dissolves and syrup is bubbling hard, about 2 minutes or so. Make sure your saucier is centered over your heat source. Stop stirring and simmer until syrup turns pale gold, like clover honey, roughly 8 minutes. Meanwhile, have the heavy cream measured. Keep it in the refrigerator until ready to use.
When syrup turns pale gold, add cream and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring constantly with a heat-resistant spatula, until the foam subsides and the boiling caramel seems more molten than foamy, about 6 minutes or so. Clip-on a digital thermometer and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until caramel registers 245°F, about 5+ minutes more (mine took 15+ minutes.)
Immediately transfer caramel to a heat-resistant bowl (I used a metal mixing bowl) and allow to cool until it registers 140°F on a digital thermometer, about 20 – 40 minutes. Stir in milk chocolate until fully melted, then fold in Rice Krispies. Divide into about 15 one-ounce (2-tablespoon) portions (I used a small ice cream scoop) and arrange on a parchment-lined half sheet pan or cutting board, then flatten into disks with the palm of your hand. Let stand at room temperature until fully set, about 1 hour, and transfer to an airtight container with a sheet of parchment between each layer. Star Crunch will keep up to a week at room temperature, or a month if refrigerated.
Yield: ~15 or so ‘cookies’
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