My kitchen is like a laboratory – I’m constantly mixing things and experimenting with ingredients. I feel like a scientist most days! But instead of working with explosive chemicals, I experiment with beautiful doughs, unique textures, bright colors and rich flavors.
Every once in a while, I’ll start off with an idea and get completely carried away, going off on tangents and following my instincts. This happened today and I ended up with a tiered Red Velvet Crispy Heart Cake, drizzled in cream cheese frosting. Wow, that’s a mouthful!
Not everything comes out as delicious and pretty like these, though. A huge part of cooking is making mistakes, learning what flavors and textures pair well and which combinations to avoid. Just like in life, you learn from your mistakes.
I definitely impressed with myself with these, seeing as this was the first time I’ve attempted crispy treats. The key seems to be to slowly melt the butter, then add the marshmallows and stir them into the melted butter. Because the butter is so warm and coats the delicate marshmallows, it helps to melt them more evenly. Also be sure to keep your stove-top temperature low to avoid burning the butter or marshmallows! High heat and rapid-melting will burn your butter and strip your crispies of their rich flavor.
Before we get to the recipe, I’d like to point out that this recipe makes enough specifically for one cookie cutter at a time. Instead of making a large batch in a 9×13 pan and cutting them out, I just filled the cookie cutters one at a time. The goop is so much easier to work with when it’s warm and they hold their shape better! I found these cookie cutters at the Dillon’s up the street. If you’re on the west coast, try looking for them at your local Fred Meyer’s. These specific cookie cutters aren’t necessary! Just keep making small batches to fill the cookie cutters you have, or quadruple this recipe for one large batch, and actually stamp out the crispies with the cookie cutters. This recipe is made to multiply! Please make these however is easiest for you!
Alright, let’s get to the good stuff!
One Crispy Heart:
- 1/2C Rice Krispies Cereal
- 1/2C + Mini Marshmallows (adjust for level of stickiness)
- Red Food Coloring
- 1tsp Cocoa Powder
Cream Cheese Icing:
- 1Tbs Cream Cheese, softened.
- 1Tbs Butter, melted
- 1/2C + Powdered Sugar
- 1Tbs Milk
If you plan on icing these, measure out the cream cheese and butter, then leave it on the counter to soften while you make the crispy hearts. Make the crispy goop in small batches by completely melting the butter, then adding the mini marshmallows and stirring frequently. While you wait for the butter and marshmallows to melt together, gently rub a stick of butter along all of the edges of your cookie cutters.
When the butter and marshmallows have melted together evenly to make a sticky goop, add red food coloring bit by bit until you reach your favorite shade of red. Make sure the mixture isn’t streaky, then dump in the Rice Krispies and stir well. Make sure the crispies are thoroughly coated in sticky marshmallow; your mix should be sticking to itself and forming into a ball.
Next add cocoa powder 1tsp at a time. Feel free to omit the cocoa powder for a brighter red without chocolate flavor. The small hearts above were made without cocoa powder. You could even make rainbow ones to look like Conversation Hearts! Line a flat surface with a small sheet of aluminum foil, giving yourself enough space for each cookie cutter. Rub a little butter along the aluminum foil to ensure your crispy hearts don’t stick.
Scoop the goop into a cookie cutter and press it down with the buttered back side of a spoon or buttered fingertips. It’s really important to butter anything that will be touching the crispies or you’ll spend more time wrestling it out of the cutters and less time eating it! However, a little bit does go a long way. Leave the cookie cutter smashed full of Krispies goop on the counter to cool and harden.
While they are cooling, make the cream cheese icing. I put the butter in a microwave-safe bowl and then into the microwave for about 20 seconds to begin melting it. Then I added the cream cheese to soften it more and put it back into the microwave for about 15 seconds. When it pops for the first time, remove the bowl and immediately stir. I recommend whisking these together to make sure your icing isn’t lumpy! Add the powdered sugar, stir, then add the milk and finally whisk it all together. This made enough frosting to cover 3 little hearts and the tiered cake.
I just scooped some icing out of the bowl and drilled it over the tops of the crispy hearts.
The frosting really makes these decadent, they’re rich and crunchy and chewy all in one!
How cute is that? Very unique but so simple! These only took me about 30 minutes from start to finish.
As always, please let me know how yours turn out and if you discover any tips or tricks! I love hearing from you guys ☺️