Recipe provided by: LaMara Davidson, Founder of Cornbread and Kimchi in Dallas, TX
Chef LaMara Davidson’s first memory of cooking – not just peeling garlic or watching food be prepared, but actually cooking – was making rice krispie treats with her sisters. She was maybe seven years old, and remembers sitting up on the kitchen table and smelling the butter + marshmallows being mixed together. They never waited for the batter to cool – the gooey, buttery deliciousness was too hard to resist.
Chef LaMara’s mom is Korean, and while she cooked plenty of savory dishes (mostly Korean), sweets weren’t a big thing in her household. However, she did love some of the candies that she got from the Korean markets, her absolute favorite being the sesame seeds + honey (the traditional name being Kkae Gangjeoung, meaning sesame crunch). She loved the toasted sesame flavor with the slight bit of sweetness from the honey.
Coupling her sisters’ buttery rice krispie treats and her love for the sesame + honey candy, Chef LaMara created this quick + easy Road Trip Snack with tradition in mind. The addition of the benne seeds, which are in the sesame seed family, ties in the Lowcountry flare. LaMara’s hope is that you create your own memories with loved ones while making these for your next road trip.
- 12 tbsp (1 ½ sticks) of salted butter, set out about 10 minutes before melting
- 8 c crispy, puffed rice cereal
- 10 c mini marshmallows
- 2 tbsp benne (sesame) seeds
- 1 ½ tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and cut into sticks (ginger will be discarded)
- In a sauté pan, toast the benne seeds over medium-low heat for about 3 minutes until golden brown. Constantly move the pan to prevent any burning. Remove pan from the heat immediately once seeds are golden brown.
- Cut butter into even cubes and melt in a lightly colored or metal pot on low heat. The light colored pot allows you to see the butter brown.
- Add the ginger once the butter has melted and stir with a high heat spatula or wooden spoon. Allow the milk solids to separate and brown the butter. It is very important to stir and not allow the browned pieces to burn. Adjust heat as needed. You will begin to smell the nuttiness of the butter as well as the fragrant ginger. This will take about 7 to 10 minutes.
- Once the butter has browned, remove from heat and discard ginger.
- In the same pot, immediately add seeds and marshmallows to the brown butter. Stir until the marshmallows are completely melted and smooth.
- Once marshmallows are smooth, add the crispy, puffed rice cereal and stir to combine.
- Transfer the mixture to a non-greased 9×13 baking pan. Using a spatula or buttered hands, gently press the mixture down in the pan and let cool.
- Cut into squares and store in an air-tight container for up to 3 days.
The Toasted Benne Seed + Ginger Puffed Rice Treats are best enjoyed on the same day you whip them up. They also freeze well if they are individually wrapped in wax paper, placed in resealable plastic bags, and stored in an air-tight container.