Friend CJR once said to me that we were destined to be great friends. Her husband and I went to four years of high school together and she and my husband went to college together (different years). She also ended up going to the same church as my childhood friend and lives in Texas right near a second cousin of mine. We were, it seems, destined to be friends. She is a great friend, funny, a spiritual encourager, and someone who still loves to laugh at my jokes and thinks that I'm very funny. (a very important trait in my book.) I'm glad God chose to put us in the same space. I'm sure it was a part of His great plan.
There isn't much I wouldn't do for her or her family. Call it whatever you like, but I will go out on a limb for CJR and her family. So when her husband contacted me and asked me for some help with an Iron Chef competition, I said, "ABSOLUTELY." Turns out that their church annually has an Iron Chef competition (doesn't that sound like FUN) and the men break up into groups, and cook food using a "secret ingredient." This year's ingredient? Pepper. In any shape or form.
Friend LR got assigned dessert, using pepper, and I think he was a bit stumped. He asked me for any ideas, and if you know me well - you know that I CANNOT resist competition. For the record, he was NOT breaking any rules by consulting with me, and my only promise to him was that I would help create a recipe that I wouldn't publish on the blog until AFTER Iron Chef. I threw a couple of ideas at him, but I thought that this one held the most promise. I practiced it once and thought it simply delicious. I kept on texting both CJR and LR letting them know that I had created a winning combination and that they WERE going to WIN A PRIZE. CJR gently reminded me that the entry might not win and I shouldn't get too worked up. I DID NOT CARE! I wanted a winner.
The competition was this evening, and sad to say, it was not part of the winning team. It did, however, win "best presentation." In this recipe's defense, it was served after 4 other groups went ahead. Mouths were burning and stomachs were already afire before this baby even had a chance.
Don't be put off by the cayenne pepper - it offers a warm heat, nothing too insane, but enough to let you know that it's there. The chocolate and cinnamon help bind the flavors altogether until you get this perfectly adult rice krispy pop. If you want something to spice up your Valentine's evening, this would be the PERFECT dessert.
LR - you're still a winner in my book!! GO WEBB!!
Chocolate Sweet and Spicy Rice Krispy Pops
adapted from the “Original Rice Krispies” recipe
Makes about 20 golf ball sized pops or 20 squares
3 tablespoons butter
40 regular marshmallows or 4 cups mini marshmallows
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
⅜ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 ½ tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
6 cups rice krispies (I actually prefer the Trader Joe’s Rice Crispies - but the Kellogg’s original are good as well)
20 lollipop sticks
In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper and stir until completely melted. Add rice krispies. Stir until well coated.
Working quickly, wearing disposable gloves, shape mixture into balls. Press lollipop sticks into creating a pop.
Using buttered spatula or wax paper evenly press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Cool. Cut into 2-inch squares. Best if served the same day.
Lolllipop sticks (I buy from Michaels with the 40% off coupon.)