Drew Tries Stuff: Cheeto Crispies
For those who follow me on Snapchat (username: thunderpear) you got a sneak peek on this a few weeks back. As it happens, I was scrolling through the internet as I am prone to do, and what should I stumble upon but a link for someone advocating the idea of Cheeto Crispies, a version of Rice Crispies Treats that substitutes the obvious cereal for semi-crushed Cheetos instead. It was bizarre, unexpected, and seemed like there was no way it could taste good. Except… some people were claiming it did. Well, you know the drill by now folks. Where there’s weird shit to experience (and use for content) Drew is there to step in and give it a try so you won’t have to.
Unlike a shitty listicle site, I’m not going to bury the lead at the bottom of the page. You came to hear about Cheeto Crispies, and damnit that’s what I’m going to talk about first. Before we get into the results, however, it’s only fair that I disclose my process. Recipes vary, and changing one of the few ingredients here, even by a small amount, could result in different outcomes. So, for transparency, this is the recipe I used to make the Cheeto Crispies, and all following experiments. Feel free to wield it at home yourself and test out some new dishes of your own.
Okay, now that you know how to make Cheeto Crispies, here’s the real question: do you want to? The results of my experiment were… varied. I had some friends over to test with me, well aware that one palate makes a poor sample size. In general, the consensus was that the creation was in the realm of “fine”. It was like a more buttery, savory Cheeto. I’ve heard that some people substitute the Flaming Hot Cheetos to get more kick, but no one really wanted to eat that, me included. Most people finished their samples; however no one went back for seconds. I would deem this one as worth trying for the experience and fun pictures alone, just don’t show up to a potluck with this as your sole contribution.
This idea hit before I’d even bought the supplies for the Cheeto Crispies. It seemed like such an obvious leap, if one is turning Cheetos into a dessert then why not also try it with the dessert version of Cheetos? For those who haven’t had them before, Sweetos come in caramel or cinnamon-sugar flavor. After extensive thought and deliberation, I went with the caramel version because it was the only one my local store had. Alone, the Sweetos are okay, a real deep caramel flavor tinged by the obvious artificiality of the source.
As a crispie, this one was actually markedly improved by the change. Putting in butter and marshmallow added some sweetness while rounding out the caramel notes, making a product that was far superior to its unaltered state. This one was widely enjoyed, and felt like something that you would actually serve rather than merely a food gimmick. The drawback here is that caramel, butter and marshmallow end up making something rich as fuck when added all together. It was good, yes, just a very heavy kind of good that no one wanted too much of. People will enjoy this if you bring it to a party, just don’t be offended if the pan isn’t scraped clean.
Cinnamon Toast Crunch Crispies (CTCC)
Not writing that one every time for obvious reasons, but the CTCC came from a revelation while I was making Cheeto Crispies. If I could replace the Rice Crispies with Cheetos or Sweetos, then why not just use another cereal? A better cereal, one with flavor of its own rather than something to serve as a conveyance vessel. Like any person with taste, one of my favorite cereals is Cinnamon Toast Crunch, so I of course had some in the pantry. With extra butter and marshmallows to work with, this was an easy call.
Here, I must admit, I began to see the wisdom in using Rice Crispies. Don’t get me wrong, CTCC were everything you want them to be. Sweetness, with a punch from the cinnamon and a nice marshmallow aftertaste on the tongue. Unfortunately, sweetness also proved to be something of a problem. Like the Sweeto Crispies before, there’s a lot going on here, and adding marshmallow kicks up the sweetness at times to levels even I found a bit much, and I functionally have the palate of a nine-year old. I’m not saying don’t make these, I enjoyed mine overall and I wasn’t the only one. I’m just going to say that this taste pretty much exactly like you’re imagining, whether that’s good or bad depends on how you feel about the imagined taste. Search yourself, and you’ll know whether this is a dish you should make or not.
Rice Crispies Treats
So sue me, I made the OG to establish a standard of comparison. Also, eating almost Rice Crispies Treats for a while will give you a hankering for the real deal. Fucking delicious, as always, a simple and effective recipe that balances sweetness with something a tad bland to mellow everything out. If you’re going to make one of these fancy versions anyway, just buy a bigger bag of marshmallows and whip up the classic as well. No one can complain if you show up with both the avant-garde and the traditional, ready to please both crowds.
Or just show up with beer. That generally goes over well too.