Two Varieties of Crispy Crunchies

by Kelly on June 22, 2010

Crispy Crunchiesmaking artisan chocolatesThere are some people in the culinary world that I consider to be geniuses.  They are the kind of people that prompt me to think about food in a new way or who recipe after recipe turn out dishes that never cease to inspire me and make me seem like a much better cook or baker than I am.  Both are true of  Andrew Garrison Shotts, founder of Providence-based Garrison Confections and author of Making Artisan Chocolates.

His cookbook could have easily been one of those frivolous purchases.  You know the kind of cookbook.  The one you lust after in Borders for its drool-inducing pictures and amazing sounding recipes only to find that you never actually cook from it.  The kind of purchase your mother questions for it practicality and you defend promising that one day you will make something out of it. It could have been that kind of purchase, but it wasn’t, and isn’t.

That’s because his recipes, although sometimes time consuming, have produced consistently mouthwatering results.  I’ve made several varieties of his truffles including Salted Caramel and Peanut Butter Sizzle, his Rocky Rhode Island Candy Bars, and more recently my take on his Crispy Crunchies.  In particular I loved the Crispy Crunchies because as I mentioned in my earlier post they seemed infinitely customizable based on your personal preferences and pantry contents.  Recipes like this are invaluable if you’re trying to expand your culinary adventurousness and get better at experimenting in the kitchen.

Oreo Crispy Crunchies

Because of this, when it was time to bake again for Baking Gals I knew I wanted to use his base recipe as the inspiration for two new variations – Oreo-Almond Crispy Crunchies and Tropical Crispy Crunchies.  Both start with bases of white chocolate and Rice Krispies and then go their separate ways.  For the Oreo version I used a mix of toasted almonds and Oreos (well, actually the Trader Joe’s version).  I’m not normally an Oreo fan, but I loved how the white chocolate, almonds and cereal tempered the flavor of the cookie.  It was still apparent, but in a very balanced way.  Being more of a tropical fruit fan, the Tropical Crispy Crunchies were my favorite of the two.  This version used cashews, macadamia nuts, flattened bananas (as they are called at Trader Joe’s, though dried bananas are the same thing and would also work), and coconut.  I loved how these were salty and sweet with a nice richness from the coconut.  It was the kind of treat where when you close your eyes you almost see yourself on the beach in Maui brushing the sand off your legs and indulging in fabulous island fare.

Best of all, the only thing in this recipe that requires heat is tempering the chocolate and toasting the nuts, which can all be done on the stovetop.  No need to turn on the oven.

Oreo-Almond Crispy Crunchies
Adapted from Making Artisan Chocolates
Yields 35 pieces

Ingredients:

-9 ounces white chocolate, tempered
-3/4 ounce cocoa butter, tempered
-5 1/2 ounces almonds, toasted, finely chopped
-5 1/2 ounces oreo cookies, finely chopped (or lightly pulsed in the food processor)
-3/4 ounce Rice Krispies

Method:

In a bowl, combine the tempered white chocolate and tempered cocoa butter until well incorporated. Set aside. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Fold into the chocolate mixture. Using a small ice cream scoop or pair of tablespoons, drop scoops of the mixture onto parchment paper. Allow to set up for 20 minutes and serve or store in an airtight plastic container.

Tropical Crispy Crunchies

Adapted from Making Artisan Chocolates
Yields 35 pieces

Ingredients:

-9 ounces white chocolate, tempered
-3/4 ounce cocoa butter, tempered
-5 ounces macadamia nuts, toasted andfinely chopped
-3 3/4 ounces cashews, toasted andfinely chopped 
-2 1/2 ounces flattened bananas, finely chopped
-1 ounce dried coconut
-3/4 ounce Rice Krispies

Method:

In a bowl, combine the tempered white chocolate and tempered cocoa butter until well incorporated. Set aside. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Fold into the chocolate mixture. Using a small ice cream scoop or pair of tablespoons, drop scoops of the mixture onto parchment paper. Allow to set up for 20 minutes and serve or store in an airtight plastic container.

What about you, was there ever anything you bought for the kitchen – a cookbook, a gadget, etc. – that you thought for sure you wouldn’t use very much and instead find yourself using a lot?

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

brandi June 22, 2010 at 9:47 am

I definitely have a few cookbooks that I’ve never used, but plan on it! 🙂 And my ricer. But I WILL make gnocchi one day, and I know I’ll need it.

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Kerstin June 22, 2010 at 4:29 pm

I use my kitchen scale all the time now – much more than I thought I would. I also use my food processor more than my KA stand mixer, which I originally thought would be the opposite.

These treats look so yummy!

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freckleonthenose June 22, 2010 at 8:10 pm

Wow, those really do look delicious! And it’s awesome that the recipe doesn’t look super daunting or overly complicated. I may have to try this!

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sophia June 23, 2010 at 10:02 am

I wasn’t sure I would use my George Foreman grill much, but I use it for everything and anything now! I even grilled cookies in it! 😀

Those crunchies looks so delightful. I definitely would love the ones with the cashews most!

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5 Star Foodie June 23, 2010 at 8:58 pm

Such scrumptious crunchies! I must make both of these kinds for my daughter, she would totally love them!

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CaSaundra June 24, 2010 at 9:47 am

These sound so fun and addictive!! 🙂 I bought the Magic Bullet last year thinking I would probably never get enough use out of it, but I use it at least once a day!

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Kristen @ Change of Pace June 24, 2010 at 3:34 pm

Those look incredible! They would be so easy to take to a cookout or party 🙂

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Shannon June 24, 2010 at 4:10 pm

ooh, these look absolutely delightful! i’ve been much more careful in my kitchen appliance purchasing lately (cost and space limitations), so i feel like i do use things alot 🙂 probably more that i thought i would use and don’t use enough… 🙁

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Carolyn Jung June 24, 2010 at 8:31 pm

These sound way better than the typical Rice Krispies treats. The tropical one is especially inviting.

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The Duo Dishes June 25, 2010 at 12:17 am

Oh, the tropical ones sounds right on the money. Great finds in that book. There are no frivolous pieces in the kitchen here. If it’s purchased, it is totally used. 🙂

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