But this past week, one of my besties, Debbie, had a baby boy after two
girls. We were all very excited - especially because this means another excuse
to bake and eat random cookies and cakes in the name of taste-testing - which brings me to these: Chocolate Dipped Rice Krispie Treats on a Wednesday.
I had this post ready to go for Cookie Tuesday and then I just totally forgot to post it. So here it is, a little late.
In the Jewish tradition, the first thing one might think of when faced with the birth of a new baby boy is the brit milah, the circumcision on the 8th day of life. However, before that event takes place, there is a custom to have a shalom zachar on the Friday night preceding the brit milah.
So what in the world is a shalom zachor and why does it involve taste-testing cookies?
The word shalom means peace or welcome and the word zachar literally means boy - so the name of the party in honor of the newborn can be defined as a Welcome Boy party. However, there is also another meaning to the word zachar. Zachar can also mean to remember. And what are we remembering exactly? So it's like this - it is believed that
when a baby is in his mother's womb, he learns the entire Torah by heart and when he is born, he forgets it. And so this shalom zachar is meant to be a comfort to this new baby boy who has forgotten all of the Torah and all of it's sweetness. The friends and family that gather together for this party are there to not only welcome the new baby but to remember with him the memory of all that he knew, and look to the future of all that he will learn.
In practical terms, the shalom zachar is a kind of like a drop-in party, where family, friends, neighbors, and anyone who hears about it and wants a dessert, comes to the family's house to wish a mazal tov or congratulations, have a l'chaim, which loosely translated means to drink some liquor, and to have some dessert.
Which brings me to the cookies. I made these last week, as the shalom zachar was this past Friday night. Do rice krispie treats qualify as cookies? I think if it were the winter, I would say no. But seeing how hot it is out and seeing how not turning on the oven is still priority number one, I'm going to go with a big fat yes.
Pretty much everyone knows how to make rice krispie treats, but these are a
little different. These were cut into squares and dunked in melted chocolate
ganache, with the ganache allowed to harden over night. And they were yummy, if
I may say so myself.
on using to make your rice krispie treats. I used a disposable 9x13 pan.
Next, take one container of marshmallow fluff and a half a stick of margarine and melt them together in the microwave - I just add the margarine to the open container of fluff and microwave it in 15 second intervals. After about 30 seconds, the fluff is usually warm enough to easily pour into a larger microwave-safe bowl. Keep in mind that before heating the fluff even for this short amount of time, it would have been almost impossible to spoon it out of the container, hence the reason for the two steps.
Once the fluff and margarine are melted together, add the rice krispies. I
used a 14 ounce box. Mix the ingredients together.
using the back of a large spoon to really pack those rice krispies in there. The
better you pack it in, the easier the rice krispie treats will slice later on.
Cover the pan with foil and refrigerate for an hour. Alternatively, if it's
not hot like an oven in your kitchen and you are not in a rush, you can just
leave the pan on the counter and come back the next day. Since I met neither of
those requirements, I put the pan in the fridge.
Meanwhile, it's time to make the ganache. Heat a defrosted 8 ounce
container of Rich's Whip in the microwave until it is just just simmering. Pour
the simmering liquid over a pot containing 9 ounces of finely chopped chocolate
- it can be semi-sweet, dark, milk, whatever you prefer. As long as it is finely
Cover the pot with a towel and let the mixture sit for five minutes. When
the time is up, uncover and mix with a spoon. The chocolate should be almost all
melted. Keep mixing until the chocolate is all incorporated. Allow the chocolate
mixture to cool and thicken on the counter. Don't do what I did the first time I
made this and stick the pot in the fridge to help things along. It won't help,
you will just wind up with a grainy chocolate syrup. Be patient and it will all
treat pan and placing a cutting board over the top of the pan, flip the entire
pan and cutting board over so that the cutting board is on the bottom and the
rice krispie treats are on top, upside down. Lay the whole thing on the counter
and remove the pan from the treats and peel off the parchment paper.
Carefully, and using a very sharp knife, cut the rice krispie treats into
Line the treats up on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Mix the
ganache, which by now had cooled and thickened on your countertop, with a spoon
until it comes to a dippable consistency. One at a time, dip the treats halfway
into the ganache, allowing the excess to drip off. Place them on the cookie
sheet and allow the chocolate to harden all the way, an hour or two. At this
point, you can also put the cookie sheet in the fridge to help things along.
Because the ganache had already cooled, it won't become grainy when placed in
Once they're all dry, eat. Or package them up and send them over to a new
baby boy's house, knowing that his mommy is a huge fan of rice krispie treats
and chocolate. Perfect.