I generally think of myself as being pretty good at cooking though not very patient with fancy presentation. I can throw together bread or granola or squash soup or rice noodles with veggies and peanut sauce without referring to anything resembling a recipe.

Yet I can feel defeated by something that (supervised) small children are supposed to be able to make: puffed-rice-cereal treats. True, I used a slightly fancier recipe than the probable standard, and, true, I hadn’t attempted even the plain ones before. And the result of my attempt is surely adequate for the purpose (birthday celebration at work), since what I licked off the spoon was tasty. I remain unsettled by the difficulty I had with these.


It’s a good thing I never planned to do the two-layer version.

(I think the non-standard cereal may have been part of the difficulty, since these are nowhere near as puffy, but they were the best available option when I went shopping last night. I also think the “normal” recipe might use more butter than this one called for. I made 10 vanilla blobs and 8 chocolate ones. The vanilla ones are pretty close to the recipe, but I skipped the cocoa and chocolate chips and only used an ounce of semisweet chocolate in the chocolate ones.)

[Added later: They got comments from my labmates (“Those aren’t rice krispies.”), but they went over pretty well.]