National Rice Month: Strawberry Cream Rice Krispies Treats

September is National Rice Month, and in honor of this glorious grain, I've decided to cook and sample a few rice dishes in and around Houston.

I don't know what exactly it says about my household that we have an extra-large box of (generic) "Rice Krispies" but no actual rice in our pantry.

My original plan was to make rice pudding, with some sort of creative twist. I didn't count on having to be creative in the manner of not actually using rice in the pudding. So, I channeled my inner pioneer woman and made do with the ingredients I did have on hand, which included Kool-Aid. Because I'm sure most homemakers on the Oregon Trail had artificially sweetened drink mixes in their larders.

Flavoring Rice Krispie treats with Kool-Aid is certainly not a new idea, though such varieties haven't seemed to catch on as much as, for example, those infused with peanut butter or chocolate chips.

That trend would all change, however, with my epic treats and special topping.

I followed the standard recipe for Rice Krispies treats, adding in one packet of strawberry Kool-Aid to the melted marshmallows and butter. While the treats were cooling, I went to the store and bought one canister of strawberry icing. You might reasonably wonder why, if I was willing to go out in the first place, I didn't just buy white rice and stick to my original pudding plan. Eh, I'll plead the fifth on that one.

I spread strawberry cream icing on the top of the treats, coating every last nook and cranny, then put them in the refrigerator to harden. Two hours later, I sampled my oh-so-fake fruit cereal squares with a glass of (very real) warm milk. Delightful. If you loathe artificial strawberry flavor, don't bother with this dessert, but if you find delight in sugar, bright colors and simple confections, you'll be tickled pink. Literally.

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