giving you mo’ crunch

Food for fun is celebrating, folks! This was guest-post week over at Blog of Funny Names and, not only was it a crazy-fun post to write, but it connected me directly to my superstar subject.

My funny-name pick is a food-tv host, but also famous for his work in politics, Hollywood, and journalism. (I won’t name this famous gent here, so I strongly recommend you click over for a read.) When I tweeted him the link to my post, he tweeted back with a thanks, kind words, and share of my link. His simple act put me over the moon and I’m honored and humbled to have someone so public read my homage to him.

To celebrate, I made another round of Momofuku Milk Bar‘s “crunch.” If you’ve not seen their book–and if you’ve made peace with processed sugar–you need to give it a read. It’s drawn me in like that proverbial kid in a candy store. Everything in it is so naughty!

Cereal milks, ice cream made from cereal milks, crack pieβ„’ (yes, theyΒ β„’ed their crack pie), confetti cookies, candy bar pie, cinnamon bun pie, peanut butter nougat, chocolate malt layer cake, graham ice cream, carrot cake truffles, nut brittles–this list goes on. And then there’s the Crunch chapter. Here’s pastry chef Christina Tosi’s take on The Crunch.

The crunch is all about filtering our snacking spells…making crunchy textural elements all our own. Never too far from the familiar cornflake, pretzel, or cracker, we’ll make crunch out of almost anything the supermarket sells and then use it in something as fancy as a plated dessert or as simple as a cookie dough.

Each crunch recipe has a balance of salt and sugar as well as melted butter–the glue–and milk powder, which seasons and helps bind the mixture once baked. The beauty of the crunch, besides the obvious sugar, butter, and snack-attack allure, it the way it’s baked. Slow and low in the oven yields the most amazing tender caramelization in every crunchy snack-ridden handful, cookie, pie crust, or garnish.

If that doesn’t make you want to whip up a batch of Crunch.Right.Now., there’s no need for you to read further. πŸ˜‰ But for those still with me, here’s how it went down.

First up was the Ritz cracker version, which I then used in Momofuku’s recipe for cornflake-chocolate-chip-marshmallow cookies, subbing in Ritz Crunch for the cornflake version. These cookies were wicked good. Stopping at just one–something I can usually do–was not an option. Adding Crunch to cookie dough–whether Momofuku’s or another favorite recipe–means you may down at least three or four of these crunch-ified cookies in one sitting. You’ve been warned.

pretty? no. irresistible? absolutely.

pretty? no. irresistible? absolutely.

Today’s celebration batch was all about color: Fruity Pebbles Crunch. (Other options include cinnamon toast, pretzel, and cornflake, though Tosi’s point is good: you could use pretty much anything for the “crunch” ingredient.)

haven't had these on my table since I was 7

haven’t had these on my table since I was 7

To avoid too much of a calorie disaster, I made only a half-batch: 1 1/4 cups fruity pebbles, 1/4 cup nonfat dried milk powder, 1/2 tablespoon sugar, pinch coarse salt, and 3 tablespoons melted butter stirred together, then spread out onto a silicone mat-lined baking pan. Baked 20 minutes at 275ΒΊF, then cooled, it can be sprinkled on ice cream, stirred into batter or dough, mixed with yogurt, or eaten in all its rainbow glory as-is.

spread out before baking

spread out before baking

Next time you want to celebrate (heck, this works when you need to console yourself as well), add “make Crunch” to your to-do list. Sure, do a few crunches afterward if it makes you feel better, but you’ll need to get back to the Milk Bar cookbook eventually as there is more celebrating to do.

fruity pebbles Crunch Γ  la momofuku milk bar

fruity pebbles Crunch Γ  la momofuku milk bar

47 thoughts on “giving you mo’ crunch

  1. Liz, I am inspired! Particularly by the name “fruity pebbles Crunch Γ  la momofuku milk bar”! I’m currently travelling on business sitting in a hotel room wondering if I could twist the arm of the hotel kitchen staff to dabble in the “world of Liz” into making these wonderful delights….fingers crossed! Cheers, Steve.

    • Thanks, Steven! Let me know if your hotel folks come through. Surely they have sugary breakfast cereal in their kitchens somewhere! Need to hop over to the “world of Steven” soon to see what new inspirations you’ve come up with on your travels.

  2. Love me some Fruity Pebbles!! I’m on my way (well, truth be told, I’ll be on my way in a couple of hours). You are so awesomely creative – I love it Liz!! hugs, m

    • Thanks for the hugs, Mimi. If you like the recipe, you could copy it down using your New Pen, yes? (do you love it?) Must admit I’m partial to the cereals with marshmallows in them, but it’s all gotten so spendy I never buy any of it anymore. (you didn’t see the bit $1.00 written in marker on the FB box–had gotten it off a clearance shelf)

      Hugs back and thanks for coming over πŸ™‚

  3. Oh my I love this, I have made peace with processed sugar, stay away from overload and this fruity pebbles crunch sounds just too good!! I love cereal milk, it was always my favorite part of my bowl of cereal. Geez it’s been a VERY long time since I’ve seen fruity pebbles.

    • lol, same here Suzanne–hadn’t even thought of the Pebbles until I saw the cookbook. Have you been to Milk Bar? There’s an entire chapter devoted to cereal milk and it looks like they bottle and sell this milk at the shop. It’s used in ice creams, which also contain things like corn powder and glucose–both of which they say I can order from amazon. It’s a bizarre book, which is why I love it.

      I bet you could do great things with cereal milk! Appreciate your visits always always always.

  4. Whoa, I went into sugar overload just drooling over the cookies, then you threw in the fruity pebbles! You’ve out done yourself.

    Glad to see you were puttin’ on the Ritz cracker. Somehow I think our universal blogging minds melded.

    I’m hyped up for the rest of the day!

    • Hey, Tracy. My plan today is No. Cookies. I can not open the tupperware of ritz crunch chocolate chip marshmallow cookies sitting on my kitchen counter. I just can’t. Though that’s not stopping me from grabbing a handful of fruity pebble crunch when I need a computer break. Yes, the sugar overload is in full swing. Perhaps I should head back to your post so I can Put on My Ritz dancing hat and burn a bit of it off?

      Speaking of classics, hope you saw my Holiday post on deLiz facebook. Went to my dad’s movie club this week. Want to get an email report out to you and amb. Really a trip to watch movies with the older crowd. But they were actually there for the “olden days” so very cool.

      • Liz, Love that you made it over to you’re dad’s movie club. I hadn’t see the post on FB yet, but will take a look later today.

        Can’t wait to hear what you thought of it. I’m really enjoying Hollywood Cocktails. I’ve only seen half the movies. It’s a true GEM!

    • decadent, yes! I like the idea that you can use it to dress something up or down–a fashion accessory of sorts πŸ™‚ Very much appreciate all of your support, Beth, both here and at deLiz πŸ˜€

  5. LIZ!! This is crazy…I think I’m having a sugar rush just after reading this post!! I had to read it twice to let it really sink in. Love the tie-in with maybe needing to do some crunches after indulging in the crunch! I’m equally intrigued and terrified at the idea of trying these….ill report back!!

    • you got it right with that “equally intrigued and terrified” line, Bonnie. They’re frightfully colorful, but man they go down easy. Thankfully the sugar rush wears off eventually… Thanks for stopping by on your way out of town πŸ™‚

  6. Those cookies sound so wicked good !!! Thinking I’ll whip up a batch this week – just what I need to get used to Corporate World again after being away. Chocolate and marshmallows make everything better! Just the pick me up I needed, thank you Liz!! πŸ˜€

    • Hey, thanks for checking in, amb πŸ™‚ Love that you’re a regular here. The cookies are too good, really, so just be prepared to eat too many. Really no way around it.

      Bet this will be a tough few days of transition, but by the end of the week you’ll hardly know you were gone πŸ˜‰ Though you’ll have your pictures and memories! Am so glad you got away. Yes, perfect way to welcome fall. You know my feelings on winter, so I tend to avoid any signs of autumn as well. Do you think I need weather therapy?

      Enjoy the cookies and crunch!

  7. Pingback: more momofuku insanity | food for fun

  8. Pingback: tale of 3 bourbon brittles | food for fun

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