Friday, May 16, 2014

Got dopamine?

Several years ago, I realized that sugar could be my heroin.  To be more precise, sugar, combined with the right amount of salt and fat, is my China White.  Now, thanks to those pesky, determined research scientists, we know why, since the dopamine receptors that get stimulated during heroin use are the same ones that get triggered by sugar and fat.

So, now you know that I am a closet sugar and fat addict.  And every once in a while, I go on a binge.  But I don't want a mainstream sugar fix--I want something with a little panache. Like these Coconut Cashew Curry Rice Krispies Bites.

Sweet, spicy, salty, rich and exotic, these treats make my dopamine receptors light up like a pinball machine and it's hard to stop reaching for more.  My dirty little trick is to cut them very small (about 1" square) so I can have several and feel totally decadent about it.

No unusual ingredients here, get them at your local grocery.  Easy, fun and elegant at your next cocktail party.  Rice Krispies and martinis?  You bet!  But when you share them with your friends, they won't know whether to slap you or kiss you since they'll be hooked too.

Coconut Cashew Curry Rice Krispies Bites
           ~~inspired by an idea in Food and Wine Magazine~~

5 Tbs. unsalted butter, plus more for greasing pan

One 16 oz. bag miniature marshmallows

2 Tbs. mild curry powder (such as Madras-style)

1/4  tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 c. toasted coconut

3/4 c. salted cashews, roughly chopped or smashed with a mallet

9 c. puffed rice cereal, such as Rice Krispies

Butter a 9" x 13" baking dish or a sided sheetcake pan (1" depth).  In a large kettle or 6 qt. Dutch oven, melt 5 Tbs. butter.  Add the marshmallow and reduce heat, stirring with a large spoon (avoid using plastic, it may melt) over low heat until marshmallows are melted. 

Stir in the curry powder, cayenne, kosher salt and toasted coconut, blending well.  Remove from heat, then add the cashews and puffed rice, stirring until completely coated.

Scoop the mixture into the greased baking dish and press into an even layer.  A nesting pan on top of a greased piece of waxed paper or foil laid over the top of the mixture is a great tool to use to press down evenly and to make sure mixture reaches into the corners of the dish.  Let stand at room temperature until cool and firm, about 45 minutes.

Invert the mixture onto a work surface and using a sharp knife, cut into 1" squares.  Makes about 6 dozen squares.


  1. Very easy and IMHO pretty darned tasty.
    We'll see if the kids will eat them. :)

    One thing, "large saucepan", um no unless your large saucepans are bigger than mine (my biggest is 4 qt); use at least a 6 quart pan Dutch/French oven.

  2. Thanks for the feedback, Tillman. I've adjusted the instructions to reflect that.