It’s officially Fall! And boy am I ready! I’m ready for the crisp air, crackling bonfires, the Friday night Football games, cider, apples, and pumpkin everything… the whole shebang!
Not sure if this holds true for your neck of the woods, but summer hasn’t gotten the memo. While I’m ready to bust out my boots and red flannel, the humidity and 80 degree weather seems to be still hanging on for dear life. Let it go, summer it’s time to move on to our favorite fall flavors. One such flavor I’ve been interested in lately is Chai. More specifically, milk chocolate AND Chai spice- it’s heavenly!
I came across this flavor profile a few short months back while prepping for an Indian themed potluck with close friends. I’m not too familiar with Indian flavors so I decided to stick with what I knew best…dessert. As I was perusing my array of cookbooks I came across a recipe for a Milk Chocolate Chai Spiced Ice Cream, and let me just say that it was the perfect accompaniment to our dinner. The chai paired perfectly with the milky chocolate creating an exotic blend of flavors begging to be devoured again so naturally, I began to brainstorm how I could repackage this flavor profile in a different form…why not crispy cereal treats?
These are divine! The secret is grinding your own chai spice. Here I used a base of peppercorns, cardamom, cinnamon, star anise, and cloves. I toasted them in a dry pan till aromatic then used an old coffee grinder to pulverize to powder. Voila! Chai Spice!
Butter is cooked till brown. Marshmallows are melted as normal then it’s time to add our flavors. Chai Spice and a little vanilla plus another secret ingredient.powdered milk! Yup, you read that right POWDERED MILK, folded ever so gently into the marshmallow mixture giving a touch of milky flavor to the treats. It’s amazing how this one ingredient can elevate even the humblest of desserts. Experiment with it, you won’t be sorry!
We trade our regular crisp rice cereal for the chocolate flavored rice cereal (rhymes with cocoa crispies!) and fold it into the chai marshmallow mixture. Press into a greased 9×13 pan and allow to set for an hour or two or until cool.
Cut into squares and enjoy as we eagerly await the fall weather takeover. After the heat from this summer I am ready for a break. So with a cappuccino in one hand and a crispy treat in the other I bid you a happy autumn. May it be crisp, cozy and always delicious!
- ½ Cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 10 oz Bag of Marshmallows
- 6-7 Cups Chocolate Crisp Rice Cereal
- ¼ Cup Milk Powder
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- 2 teaspoons Chai Spice Mix (Recipe to follow)
- Big Pinch of Salt
- Heat a heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat and allow the butter to melt. Once the butter has melted, continue to cook until it becomes nutty and a golden brown. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the marshmallows. Continue stirring until the marshmallows form a smooth, melted mass in the pot. You may use additional heat if they need help melting.
- Sprinkle the milk powder and chai spice mix over the surface of the melted marshmallows. Add in the vanilla and a BIG PINCH of kosher salt. Stir until the flavors are evenly distributed.
- Pour the marshmallow mixture in a bowl with the chocolate crisp rice cereal and stir using a folding action, making sure all of the cereal pieces are covered evenly. Once thoroughly mixed, pour into a greased 9x13 inch pan and press the cereal mixture into the pan. You can do this using a spoon, spatula or a greased piece of wax paper.
- Allow to rest until cool. Cut into squares and ENJOY!
- Chai Spice Mix- In a dry skillet add 30 black peppercorns, 4 cinnamon sticks, 14 cardamom pods, 2 star anise, and 20 whole cloves. Toast over medium high heat, stirring frequently until aromatic about 2 to 3 minutes. Use a coffee grinder to pulverize to a powder. Use as directed above.