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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Browned Butter Madeleines with Pistachios

Browned Butter Madeleines with Pistachios

 TK Photography

  • Unsalted Butter: 7 T Cut into 1 T pieces
  • Eggs: 5 Large
  • Sugar: 1/2 C + 3 T
  • AP Flour: 1 1/4 C
  • Kosher/Sea Salt: Large Pinch
  • Baking Powder: 1 t
  • Pistachios: 1/3 C
    • Roughly Chopped
  • Lemon Zest: 1 Lemon
  • Tools: Mixer, Madeleine Pans, Small Sauce Pan
 TK Photography

Place your butter in a small sauce pan and cook on medium heat.  When the entire bottom of our pan is covered in melted butter, add your salt and cook, stirring frequently until your butter is browned.  This is much more tricky than it sounds.  As the liquid in the butter is cooking off, it's going to make a foam that only those with x-ray vision can see through.  Underneath that foamy business, your butter is browning and you're going to have a tough time keeping track of it.  Use your spatula or spoon to stir the foam away to get brief glimpses of your butter.  You're going to need to do some tricky spoon maneuvering to do it, but I believe in you.  When it is golden brown, immediately remove from the heat and pour through a strainer into a clean bowl.  Air on the side of caution.  It's going to smell nutty and warm and if you want to pull your butter when, maybe, it's a little on the light side of golden, that's alright.  Better safe than awful smelling burned butter.  Set your bowl of browned butter aside.

 TK Photography

Put your eggs in your mixing bowl with a whisk attachment and turn on medium until your eggs are all broken up.  Add your sugar and lemon zest and turn your mixer on high and whisk until your eggs are fluffy and light yellow.  We're talking pastel, Easter egg, butter, yellow.   Take your bowl off its stand, then sift the flour and baking powder over your eggs.  Fold your flour in gently with a spatula.   (When I fold, I cut down the center then rotate around the outer edges, turn the bowl 90 degrees and repeat).  When there aren't any visible dry spots left, pour in your butter and pistachios and fold until completely incorporated.   Now, you COULD put a piping tip into a pastry bag and then go through the hassle of keeping it from leaking all over your refrigerator OR you could make it really easy on yourself.  Get your gallon pitcher on your counter.  Put a gallon freezer bag inside your pitcher and fold it over the top of the pitcher like a trash bag.  Now, scrape your batter into the bag (no hands, ma!).  Smoosh all the extra air out and zip'er up.  I double bagged mine to be on the safe side.  Let this batter sit in your refrigerator overnight.

When you're ready to bake, preheat your oven to 375.  Melt down about two tablespoons of butter in a small prep bowl.  Using a pastry brush, brush your melted butter into your molds, thoroughly coating each mold.  Now, coat each with flour and then knock off as much excess flour as possible.

In the original recipe, they talk about piping the batter into the mold like it's easy.  Do not go into this thinking your batter is going to go quietly into that good night.  When you start piping it, you'll quickly realize how paste like it is.  It will not want to let go of itself, but you're going to have to make it.  Pipe enough batter into each mold that it would, when relaxed, fill up about 3/4 of the  mold.  It is very important at this point to remember that you are the boss in this situation.  You may end up with flour on your fingers and your arms and your face and your hair, but you will prevail. Just when you think you can't take anymore, and your molds are all full, give that tray a little smack onto the counter to get rid of any would-be air bubbles.

Place them in your oven and bake until they're just getting brown around the edges.  These cookies are meant for dipping, so they lean slightly toward the dry side.  Over baking them will not help this, so keep a close eye.  Mine took about six minutes, but like I always say, each oven is different so stay vigilant.

Pull them out and give them another little whack on your counter to release them from the pan.  Some of them are going to be stubborn, so feel free to gingerly ply them free with a skewer or even more gingerly with a paring knife.
 TK Photography

Now Try This!  
These cookies are meant for dipping.  Tea or  a nice green coffee are really perfect with this.
If you're not into the Pistachio-Lemon combo, the world is really your oyster on this one.  Skip the nuts and just add the zest!  Vice versa!  Try orange zest and hazelnuts or almonds.  Try a spice instead of a nut!  Orange and cardamom is one of my favorite combinations.  Get crazy with it!

All photographs taken by TK Photography.

Original recipe adapted from The Essential New York Times Cook Book by Amanda Hesser.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Chicago Smokey Hollow Dish Crawl

FUN HISTORICAL FACT OF THE DAY: Did you know that Chicago's River North neighborhood used to be called Smokey Hollow?

Smokey Hollow Crawl

Exciting news, everyone!  I don't know if any of you are aware of this, but I'm what you would call a 'food enthusiast.'  I know, you're shocked and confused, maybe even feeling a bit betrayed.  It's alright, I'm confident it will pass.  Well, if you're like me at all (and by that I mean, you eat food for the fun of it, not the blah blah blah must have food to live bit) then I've got something new and fun that I think you will really dig.

I'm talking about the Smokey Hollow Dish Crawl.  You may be familiar with a Pub Crawl.  You know, where everyone hops on a little trolley, rolling bar to bar and getting rowdy.  Well, It's a little like that only more delicious!   The Smokey Hollow Crawl is happening Tuesday, May 7th starting at 7:00pm.  The Crawl spans two hours and four different restaurants, all within a five minute walk of each other.  You'll get to have four, that's right, FOUR unique culinary experiences in one night.  Each restaurant will be presenting a trio of dishes for your enjoyment, explained by each of the restaurants culinary staff.

Smokey Hollow Crawl has also partnered with Uber Car Service!   Have a few cocktails*, and they will happily get you home in style!

Lucky for all of you, I've got some talented and ambitious friends.  That means that I can run a little contest right now.  Comment on this post and I will choose one of you for a buy one, get one free ticket.  That means if you buy a ticket, I will get one for a guest for free!

Definitely check my friend Jackie out on WGN on Friday, May 3rd for a super secret reveal of one of the four restaurants that you'll be visiting.

Tickets are a great value at $45 a piece.  That's a little over a $10 for each restaurant!  It's madness!

You know what to do.  Go buy your tickets here!  I'll be live tweeting the event, so definitely follow me @CrumbySituation !

I can't wait to see you there!

*Drinks are not included in the ticket price.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Green Tea Cupcakes with Toasted Sesame Buttercream

All photographs by TK Photography!  Aren't they beautiful??

Green Tea Cupcakes
  • Cake Flour: 1 3/4 C 
    • Spoon it into the cup and level off
  • Baking Powder: 1 3/4 t
  • Sugar, Granulated: 1 1/2 C 
  • Water: 1/3 C
  • Butter, Unsalted: 4 T 
    • Room Temperature 
    • Cut into 1 T pieces
  • Vanilla Extract: 2 t
  • Salt: 1/2 t
  • Canola Oil: 1/3 C
  • Egg, Yolks: 2
  • Egg, Whole: 2
  • Heavy Cream: 1/2 C 
  • Matcha Powder: 2 T
  • Water: 1/2 C
  • Tools: Stand Mixer, Small Sauce Pan, Medium Bowl, Whisk, Sifter, another medium bowl, cupcake pan, preheated oven to 350
Sift your flour and baking powder together into your mixing bowl and then mix together with a paddle attachment on medium low until combined, about 30 seconds.  Sift it back into a medium bowl.  Set aside.

In a small sauce pan, combine 1/2 C water and Match powder and cook on medium heat until reduced down to a paste.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Heat 1/3 C water to a simmer.  Combine it with the sugar in your now empty mixing bowl on medium-low speed for around 15 seconds.  Add your butter and mix until completely incorporated. Add your Vanilla
and your green tea paste and mix until combined.  Add the canola oil, and mix on medium until completely combined.

Remove your mixing bowl from your mixing stand.  Sift 1/3 of your flour mixture into your mixing bowl. Using a spatula, fold the flour until all it is just combined.  Repeat until all of the flour is incorporated.  Fold each egg yolk in, one at a time, followed by your two whole eggs.

In a medium bowl, whisk your heavy cream until it is just forming soft peaks.  I recommend doing this by hand.  It's a good arm work out, and it's really just too small of an amount to warrant mixing it in your bowl.  If you want to speed up the process, put your whisk and bowl into the freezer for 10-15 minutes before hand.

Fold 1/4 of your heavy cream into your batter, gently.  Fold in the remaining heavy cream.

Portion out your batter into each of your cupcake liners until each cup is about 2/3 full.  Bake in your preheated oven for approximately 7-8 minutes, then rotate the pan, and bake for another 7-8 minutes.  I can't emphasize enough how individual each oven is.  To test if your cupcakes are done, first, they will not look wet on top.  Shiny, yes.  Wet, no.  Press lightly on top of the cupcake.  If it springs back, it is done. If you want to be extra sure, use the ol' toothpick trick.  If it comes out clean, you're done.  Immediately remove your cupcakes from the pan and put on a cooling rack.  This recipe should make about 18 cupcakes, depending on the size of your liners/pan.

TK Photography

Toasted Sesame Buttercream
  • Butter, unsalted: 24 oz room temperature
  • Egg, Whites: 8 
    • Save your egg yolks in an air tight bag or container in your fridge for up to three days)
  • Cream of Tartar: Pinch 
    • Optional, but helpful
  • Sugar, Granulated: 2 C
  • Salt: 1/4 t
  • Vanilla Extract: 1 T
  • Sesame Oil: 1/8 t
  • Sesame Brittle (See Below)
  • Tools: Stand Mixer, Medium Sauce Pan, Candy Thermometer
Place your eggs and cream of tartar in a very clean mixing bowl with a whisk attachment.

Put 1/2 C of water, sugar and salt into a medium sauce pan.  Make sure all of your sugar is saturated with water (use our fingers or gently stir if it's just not happening on its own). Cook your sugar on medium heat.  When it starts to boil rapidly, place your candy thermometer in our sugar mixture and just watch it go up.  When your sugar hits 225, turn your mixer on medium-high and whip until it is anywhere between cappuccino foam and soft peaks (I've done both, and they both have worked equally well for me).  By this point, your sugar will have reached 240.  At 240, immediately remove your sugar from the heat and walk carefully to your mixer.  Turn your mixer to its highest speed and then VERY CAREFULLY, pour your sugar slowly and steadily (don't rest it on the side of the bowl), down the very edge of the bowl. Avoid hitting the whisk or your sugar will start roping around the side of your bowl.  There is a sweet spot that is the point in the bowl where you can pour your sugar away from the edge of the bowl without hitting the whisk.  Try and hit that point.

Whip your eggs/sugar (it's an Italian Meringue now) on high until the bowl is just warm to the touch.  Keeping the mixer on high, add your butter 4 oz, or half a stick, at a time, until completely incorporated.  At this point, you can stop the mixer to scrape down the sides to get rid of any extra butter or unincorporated meringue that's hanging out.  Turn your mixer back on high and mix until it is soft and fluffy like Cool Whip.  The rule of the thumb I always go by is that when I think it's done, I whip it another ten minutes.  This buttercream should be very light, so whip it like it's paying you.  At the end of this process, at your vanilla and your sesame oil and whip until completely incorporated.

Take your mixing bowl off of your mixer and gently fold in your pulverized Sesame Brittle until consistent throughout.
TK Photography

Sesame Brittle
  • Sugar,Granulated: 3/4 C
  • Sesame Seeds, White: 1/2 C 
    • Toasted 
      • Put them on a parchment lined baking sheet at 325 until golden brown
  • Sea Salt: 1/4 t
  • Tools: Small Sauce Pan, Baking Sheet lined with parchment or silicon sheet.
Add 1/3 C of water and sugar to a small sauce pan.  Make sure all of your sugar is saturated with water (use our fingers or gently stir if it's just not happening on its own).  Cook your sugar on medium heat until it starts turning amber around the edges. Swirl GENTLY! (good God, I cannot emphasize gently enough) to get a consistent caramel color.  If you're using your candy thermometers, it will register around 320.

Remove your pan from the heat and quickly stir in your toasted sesame seeds and your salt.  Immediately pour your mixture onto your baking sheet and let it sit until it is completely cool.

Break your brittle up into several smaller pieces and place into your food processor.  Turn that baby on and let it run until your sesame is a grainy powder, more coarse than a rough corn meal.  You can store this for quite a while (about a week), but only if you keep it in a very dry, air tight container in a cool area.  If you don't have a food processor, or you're just wound a little tight, double bag your brittle in two seal-able large sandwich bags and beat it's will to be whole out of it with a rolling pin.  It'll work on a couple of levels, I assure you.

TK Photography

Now Try This!
Save some of your sesame brittle to use as a garnish, or use more toasted sesame seeds.

Recipes adapted from recipes from Bakewise by Shirley O. Corriher and Les Petits Macarons: Colorful French Confections to Make at Home by Go (Google Affiliate Ad)\

All photographs by TK Photography.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Blueberry Cream Scones and Lemon Curd

Blueberry Scones and Lemon Curd, photos by TK Photography
I was walking to work the other day, and I stopped in a coffee shop on my way and got a latte and one of the blueberry scones they had wrapped up on their counter.  They looked homemade, and cuss it, I love a good scone.  I walked and ate and drank and this thing was....well, it was sad.  It was dry and tasteless and pale.  I ate the whole thing, of course, because I'm me and I do that, but I didn't want to!

My mission was clear.  My itch had not been scratched.  So I took to my (friends, with the convection oven and cable in their) kitchen to get my scone fix.   Of course, a scone without anything on it is almost like a crime against God and nature, so I decided that a good, buttery lemon curd would do the trick.  I love citrus, and there are few things that cut the acidity of the lemon better than the sweetness of a blueberry.  Because this is something you generally eat for breakfast as opposed to a dessert, I decided on a curd recipe with slightly more butter than our average curd.

I hope you love it!

Blueberry Cream Scones
  • AP Flour: 2 C
  • Granulated Sugar: 1/3 C
  • Baking Powder: 1 T
  • Table Salt: 1/2 t
  • Heavy Cream: 1 1/2 C, plus a little more for brushing the tops of your scones
  • Frozen Wild Blueberries:
  • Tools: Medium bowl, sifter, preheat oven to 400 
Sift together your flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in your medium bowl.  Very, very gently, toss your blueberries into your flour mixture.  If you are too rough, they will burst, your scones will turn weird blue and you'll be sad all day.

Make a well in your dry ingredients, and pour in 1 1/4 C of your cream.  Mix VERY gently until a rough looking dough has formed.  If it still seems too dry, add cream a tablespoon at a time.  I ended up using almost an extra quarter cup.  Divide into eight different pieces and place onto your lined baking sheet, giving each scone about 2" on each side to grow.  They will be difficult to portion out perfectly because the dough is very sticky.  Wet your hands and gently form each scone into an evenly shaped ball.   This will make it easier because the water will keep the dough from sticking to you.  Brush each scone generously with cream.  I also sprinkled each scone with a little Turbinado Sugar (Sugar in the Raw) to give them a little extra crunch and a little, well, zazz.

Put them in your 400 degree oven and bake until GBD (golden brown and delicious...see, Rachel Ray, I can do it, too!), about 15 minutes.  I've said it before, and I'll say it, again: each oven is different. When these are done you should be able to pick them up off of the baking sheet without them crumbling at all, but they should still be tender to the touch.   You'll probably want to take them out while the "cracks" in the top are still a little pale.  Let them get a little more color than you probably would prefer to.  They'll taste better that way, trust me. Keep an eye on them and use your best judgement.  

TK Photography

Lemon Curd 
  • Eggs,Whole: 3
  • Lemon Zest: One Lemon
  • Lemon Juice: 1/2 C 
    • Fresh is always best, and that's about 3 lemons
  • Sugar, Granulated: 1/2 C
  • Butter, Unsalted: 6 T 
    • Cut into 1 T pieces
Put your butter in a medium bowl and keep your strainer nearby.  Set aside.

In a small sauce pan, whisk the eggs thoroughly.  Add your lemon zest, juice and sugar and whisk until completely combined.  Cook on medium heat, constantly whisking (don't forget the edges and corners, y'all), until your curd is thickened and bubbling along the edges. Don't get crazy waiting for this to boil.  Two or three bubbles is really all you need.  The longer it cooks, the more egg-y stuff will end up in your strainer.  Wait to see just a couple lava bubbles along the edge and remove from heat.

Immediately pour your curd through the strainer onto your butter mixture, stirring a little to get the bound of curd through.  Scrape the underside of our strainer as well, because some of your curd will be clinging for dear life to it, but it still needs to get eaten.  Let this sit for about a minute, and then whisk until your butter is completely combined into your curd.  Refrigerate for up to a week.

TK Photography

Now Try This!
You can leave out the blueberries if you just want some good old fashioned scone action.  Also, try some clotted cream with your lemon curd.  It's decadent and delicious!  Don't be afraid to substitute ingredients for the blueberries.  Crystallized ginger (1/4-1/2 C depending on how into ginger you are) makes an excellent mix-in, and is especially good when you sift in about 1/2t of powdered ginger with our flour.  You could also substitute key lime juice (regular lime juice will be really tart) or meyer lemon juice in the curd if you wanted to make things interesting.

TK Photography

Recipes adapted from The Essential New York Times Cookbook: Classic Recipes for a New Centu (Google Affiliate Ad) and Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts by Alice Medrich.

Photographs by the incredibly talented TK Photography.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

It's St. Patrick's day!  Even though I'm not Irish (I've dated one, though, so that kind of counts), I can still party with the best of them.  Especially when it comes to turning tasty drinks into tasty sweets!  I hope you enjoy this super dark, no-too-sweet stout-y chocolate cakes and the delicious Irish Cream flavored cream cheese frosting.  Give one to someone Irish, and then use it as an excuse to either kiss them....or to not kiss them.

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

Super Dark Chocolate Stout Cupcakes

  • Sugar, Granulated: 2 1/3C
  • Salt: 3/4t
  • Cocoa Powder: 3/4 C
  • Baking Soda: 1 t
  • Stout Beer: 1 C
  • Canola Oil: 3/4 C
  • Vanilla Extract: 2 t
  • Flour, All Purpose: 1 3/4 C
  • Egg, yolks: 4
  • Egg, whole: 2
  • Buttermilk: 1/4 C

Pour your beer into a small sauce pan and bring it to a boil.  In a slightly larger sauce pan, whisk together your cocoa powder, baking soda, sugar and salt, thoroughly.  When your beer has started to boil, remove it from the heat and start to whisk into your cocoa powder/sugar mixture slowly.  When everything is completely combined, turn the heat back on your range and bring that mixture to a boil, whisking occasionally (remember to get into the corners!).  After your mixture has started to boil, remove from the heat and let it sit for at least ten minutes.  This is important, because if it's too hot, it will cook your eggs before they get cooking into the cake and that's not fun to eat.

Pour your beer/chocolate/sugar mixture into your mixture, turn mixture onto low, and then drizzle in your oil and vanilla.  Mix on low for 30 seconds to a minute to completely combine.  Sift in your AP flour and mix on low for 30 seconds, or less, just until most of the flour is moistened.  Take the bowl off the mixer and fold in the rest of the flour with a spatula.  Add your buttermilk and eggs and fold them in gently, but thoroughly.

Your batter should be VERY shiny and a little more sticky than normal cake batter.

Fill your cupcake liners about 3/4 full, and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.  Flip them around once during baking (be gently so they don't collapse).  To make sure they're done, press lightly on top.  When they are no longer wet and spring back after your touch, they are done.  Let them cool completely on a cooling rack before icing them.

Bailey's Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Cream Cheese: 1 lbs
    • At room temperature
  • Butter, Unsalted: 1/ lbs
    • At room temperature
  • Powdered Sugar: 1 1/2 C 
    • Sifted, twice
  • Vanilla Extract: 1t
  • Irish Cream Liqeur: 1/2 C
Combine your cream cheese and butter in your mixing bowl with a paddle attachment.  Turn on medium speed for two minutes.  Scrape down the sides to make sure everything is getting incorporated.

Place half of your powdered sugar into your mixing bowl and turn on low speed until it's generally moistened.  Place the rest of the powdered sugar and, again, turn on low speed until completely incorporated.  Do not, I repeated, DO NOT, put all of your powdered sugar in at once.  It will come flying out of that mixer and it will cover you.  You will not be happy.  Trust me.  When you have all of your powdered sugar in your mixing bowl, and it's all moistened, turn your mixer onto medium-high and beat for around three minutes.  About halfway through your mixing, add your vanilla extract and your Irish Cream.  Taste your buttercream and adjust the Irish Cream amount as you see fit.  You may want a little more, as the cream cheese has a tendency to make other flavors fall by the wayside.

Decorate as you see fit.  In all seriousness, I used a 4oz ice cream scooper and a baby food spoon with Dora the Explorer on it to do this.  You can turn anything into a decorating tool.  Enjoy, everyone!

Now try this!
Dust your cupcakes with a little cocoa powder, or a coffee or stout beer based caramel sauce!

Recipes have been adapted from Bakewise by Shirley Corriher and Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese Straws

I'm kind of a nut for pre-meal bread.  The danger is that I fill up on them too quickly and then force myself to eat too much of my meal and then have no room for dessert.  The hidden dangers of eating carbs, I think.  You might say "Well, why just not say no to bread before your meal?" To which I say, shut your mouth when you're talking to me!  The obvious answer is a lighter option.  I found a great recipe in The Essential New York Time Cookbook for cheese straws that are so uncannily like cheez-its, it's ridiculous.  The possibilities are endless for these little gems.

Cheese Straws

  • Cheddar Cheese, Grated: 4 oz 
    • I used extra sharp cheddar
    • 4 oz is half a block of cheese.  Definitely shred it yourself.  It's cheaper and tastes better.
  • AP flour: 3/4 C
  • Salt: 1/2 t
  • Crushed Red Peppers: 1/4-3/4 t
    • I found that 3/4 t was too spicy for me.
  • Butter, Unsalted, Room Temperature: 4 T, cut into 4 pieces
  • Half-and-Half: 1 T
The Butter is Camera Shy
Preheat your oven to 350 and have a ungreased baking sheet ready to go.

Put your cheddar cheese, flour, salt, pepper and butter into your food processor (or you can do it with a pastry cutter) and process for about 30 seconds until it looks like really course bread crumbs.  

Add your half and half and process until the whole thing is rolling around your processor in one big ball.

Lightly dust your counter top with flour and roll your ball out into an 8x10 rectangle (dust your rolling pin and the top of your dough if necessary).  

Cut into strips about 1/4" wide with a very sharp chef's knife and gently transfer onto your baking sheet.  If they're falling apart when you try and move them, use your knife.  Keep each straw about 1/4" away from each other.

Bake for about 14-16 minutes, until the tips of the straws start to brown.

Now Try This!
Cut them into squares, pop a hole in the middle of each one and make your own tasty cheese crackers!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Grown-Up Krispy Treats!

You'd think after all that money I spent on going to school, learning how to make every little sweet piece under the sun, I'd have some kind of refined palate when it comes to my absolute favorite dessert item.  Not so, because to this day, my absolute favorite, favorite, FAVORITE dessert is still the same: Rice Krispy treats.  I've spent my fair share of time coming up with different combinations and flavors of Krispy treats and I think I may have found my favorite.

Reading through the amazing compilation cookbook, The Essential New York Times Cookbook,  I found the most amazing looking recipe for Caramelized Browned Butter Rice Krispy Treats.  Um, say whaaaaaat?!?!?!  The next day I grabbed everything I needed and went to work.  I've made a few changes to the recipe, that I think improved it, but overall, this is the yummiest Krispy recipe I've ever had.  Be warned, it's a bit more time consuming that your normal recipe, but in the end, it's more than worth it.

Caramelized Browned Butter Rice Krispy Treats
  • Crisped Rice Cereal: 9 C
    • The original recipe called for an entire 12oz box, and even though I prefer my treats on the dry side, they ended up palate ripping dry.
  • Butter, Unsalted: 1 C (2 Sticks)
  • Large Marshmallows: One 10 oz package
  • Salt: 1/2 t
  • Almonds, Chopped or Sliced, Toasted: 1/2 C
    • To toast: Preheat oven to 350 °.  Place Almonds on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes in preheated oven.  Keep a close eye on them and toast them to where you prefer them to be.  I like mine a little on the dark side.

Thoroughly butter a 11x17 baking sheet, a 9x13 baking pan, or 2-9" cake rounds, depending on the thickness you like or the shape you want.

Place your butter in an 8qt stock pot and cook on medium-low, stirring often, until your butter starts browning and getting that tasty nutty aroma.  Make sure you keep a close, close eye on your butter so it doesn't scorch.  When it gets to a medium brown (you'll have to push the foam out of the way so you can see it), stir in all of your marshmallows and salt, until the marshmallows are completely melted.  Keep cooking and stirring often until your marshmallows have gotten to a nice, medium golden brown.  Stir in the almonds until just incorporated.

Melty Buttery Marshmallowy Goodness
Remove your pot from the heat, and immediately stir in your rice cereal until completely coated with your marshmallow mixture.  

All Mixed Up

Quickly put into your prepared pan and use either your hands or a silicone spatula to push your mixture down into a nice, even layer.

Let your treats cool completely before slicing, or covering with plastic wrap.

Now Try This!

Why not try to mix in a little honey with your marshmallows (2 Tablespoons should do it).