The title is sugar high, but really, my husband and I are suffering from sugar headaches. I didn’t think about the consequences of baking sweets every day. I am truly suffering from consuming too much sugar. My husband is afraid now when I announce what I’m about to bake. My son is getting used to watching me spend long hours in the kitchen. I’m looking forward to the end of this sweet and exhausting journey.
But I’ve made a promise with myself, and I intend to keep it. Therefore, Joanne’s Brown Butter Crispy Rice Treats from Flour became my next project. She actually mentions that someone else made them in their kitchen, but there is no name…that was me trying to give credit to the right person.
I definitely did not know what I was getting myself into when I decided on this supposedly easy recipe. First off, it is NOT easy finding actual vanilla beans. I am not an actual pastry chef or baker or mama baker – I only bake once in awhile! So you can imagine my surprise when I found out vanilla beans are long and sticky. Just so you know, they are in the baking aisle, and no, it’s not obvious where they are placed. I found them with other spices, not next to the vanilla extract. Goodness, vanilla beans are NOT for baking novices.
Secondly (I have many thoughts after this “baking” session), one cannot be tired when reading a somewhat complicated recipe. Joanne asks for low heat when browning the butter. I definitely skipped the “low” part and just melted the butter on very high heat. Again, you can imagine my frustration as I kept hoping the butter would brown properly after lowering the heat when it was way too late.
Last but really not the least, make sure you use a giant wok when you make this stuff. My extremely large saucepan was not large enough for the 9 cups of rice cereal with the two bags of melted marshmallows. Here again, you can imagine my demise as I watched the rice cereal fly everywhere around my tiny kitchen.
Despite a couple mishaps due to my own lack of baking wisdom, I finished making the BEST rice crispy treats I had ever had ever in my entire life. And it was the quickest recipe – no 3 hour wait or overnight cooling necessary. And I thoroughly enjoyed the process of smelling the fragrant marshmallows as they melted, munching on rice cereal and eating off my wooden spoon. Not to mention, my fingers smell like vanilla even now, and it’s been hours (look at the recipe and you’ll understand).
Anyway, once I finished the quick but not so easy Brown Butter Crispy Rice Treats, I was able to sit down and finish a movie I had been watching earlier. You guys – the Korean movie, Beauty Inside, is an absolutely beautiful film. You’ve got to watch it. Anyway, as I was watching and crying by the end (sort of a must with most Korean dramas and movies), I forced myself to start writing. And as I wrote, I realized something: I’m really happy. I’m really really happy. I don’t say this to rub it in the faces of unhappy people – I say this because I didn’t realize that I was so happy.
I thought I would never find the time to bake so many elaborate things in my life, ever. I thought I would never find the time to write like this again. I thought I would never find the rest in my heart to enjoy sitting on my couch, writing and drinking hot tea from a pretty tea set, given to hubby and me as a wedding gift. I thought times like this were of the past, pre-baby. But here I am, talking about vanilla beans and movies. Here I am talking about tea sets. No longer am I sleep deprived, angry at my circumstance and afraid to trust God again. I have overcome the sleep deprivation, become thankful for where our family is at and totally engaged in the present – enjoying God.
I don’t know what challenges lay ahead of me when hubby and I have baby number 2 (not yet, folks), but for now, this mama is feeling pretty awesome. It took over a year to be freed of so many fears and frustrations, but really, the season was worth it. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be baking or writing tonight. I guess I say this to encourage you: don’t run away from fear and frustration. Face the challenge and choose to trust God, whether you can or can’t. Every time you choose to trust Him, it gets easier. Eventually, you trust Him without even thinking about it. And then you find yourself doing things you never thought you’d ever be able to do. Like make Brown Butter Crispy Rice Treats. Oh, or the Best Ever Chocolate Pudding.