I have a confession to make.
Martha Stewart kinda scares the figgy pudding out of me.
There’s just something about her. Anybody that can make a grilled cheese by starting with a wheat field and a cow is pretty darn intimidating. Part of it might be that fixed, slightly deranged gaze of an unhinged synchronized swimmer. I firmly believe that under the right circumstances, she’d happily cut me. She’s done time in the slammer you know.
But, I do admire Martha’s skills. That woman could take an envelope and an old sock and turn it into a chandelier. She could take half a Big Mac, an apple, and four dodgy Brussel sprouts and create a fabulous Thanksgiving dinner for twelve.
I was on her website looking at recipes when I saw a Rice Crispy treat surprise birthday cake. You cut the treats into round cake shapes and decorate it like a cake. But for Martha, the whole thing seemed run-of-the-mill and frankly, dull.
It did get my wheels turning, though.
I imagined a deep, deep Devil’s food cupcake, with a not too heavy or sweet seven-minute type marshmallow frosting.
But, in the bottom of the liner, I would put a Rice Crispy treat. The only problem was, I had no idea if it would turn out awesomely epic or a Charlie Sheen/Chernobyl-level disaster. So, I gathered my supplies, informed Petey he had guinea pig duty, and entered my kitchen/lab.
You know what? It worked. The marshmallow treat part didn’t burn or harden, the cake was moist and super chocolatey, and the marshmallow frosting was just the right touch (and as an added bonus, the frosting is fat-free).
But I do have a couple of tips to reduce possible stress and future heartache.
Since I had to make the rice treats, cupcakes, and frosting, I decided to use a cake mix. Only I subbed out the water for coffee and added a couple tablespoons of dark cocoa powder because I wanted to cut down the sweetness and amp up chocolate.
I put a rounded tablespoon of the still-warm treats in the bottom of cupcake liners, which I had sprayed with cooking spray (You only need a half a batch of the treats at most. The recipe for them is on the cereal box). Then I flattened the treats with my thumb and poured the cake batter almost to the very top. Because of this, I only got about 18. Coincidentally they also baked for 18 minutes.The frosting stays sticky. If they’ll need to travel, I suggest you toast it with a kitchen torch to seal it. The recipe was a traditional cooked marshmallow/meringue topping. It turned out to be easy to make, and so good you need to frost fast, to reduce the chance of eating it all from the bowl.
4 large egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
Big pinch of cream of tartar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
Put mixing bowl over slowly simmering pot of water—double boiler style. Whisk together eggs and sugar until sugar’s dissolved, and it’s warm to the touch.
Put on mixer with whisk attachment and beat until it’s glossy and holds a stiff peak (5-7 minutes). Mix in salt and vanilla. Immediately frost cooled cupcakes. Piping the icing makes it go much quicker, and they’re especially pretty that way.
I think, in a way, I may have out-Martha-ed Martha. But maybe I shouldn’t say that out loud.
She might come after me. And hurt me.
Thanks for your time.