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Sunday, September 28, 2014

No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake

I have no idea where this recipe for no bake Pumpkin Cheesecake came from but I've had it in my file for years--probably picked it up when I was teaching.  The staff room in schools is a great place to taste and get new recipes. Someone is always bringing in a treat and sharing recipes and I usually asked for any recipes that were going around the staff room.

This light and airy no bake Pumpkin Cheesecake is one of those easy-to-put-together desserts that everyone seems to enjoy.  Using pumpkin pie filling cuts out measuring the spices and most of the sugar so it does come together quickly.  You can even use a pre-made graham cracker crust if you wish and cut down on the work even more.  You'll probably have enough filling for two pies using the purchased crusts as they are smaller than homemade.  But, that being said, a homemade crust doesn't take long to make, especially if you use the graham crumbs.  

I like to use a liquid whipped topping (like Nutri-Whip) but a frozen topping (Cool Whip) or a dry mix (Dream Whip) will work equally as well in this dessert.  Use your favourite brand or whatever you have on hand or is cheapest at the grocery store. 

I've included an optional ingredient of 2 tablespoons of dry vanilla instant pudding.  Sometimes no bake cheesecakes can be very soft and hard to cut.  The pudding will stabilize the pumpkin mixture giving it a little more structure.  Use it or leave it out.  The Cheesecake will taste good either way.


No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake

1¼ cups graham wafer crumbs
1 tablespoon sugar
¼ cup melted butter

1 (8 ounce) cream cheese, room temperature
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin pie filling, don't use plain 100% canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons vanilla instant pudding dry mix, optional
2 cups thawed whipped topping
1 cup thawed whipped topping, for garnish

For crust:
In small bowl, mix graham crumbs, sugar and melted butter together.  Press into a 9-inch pie plate or spring form pan. Refrigerate until ready to use.  Alternately, the crust can be baked in 350 degree oven for 6 minutes.  Cool before using. 

For Filling:
In the bowl of an electric mixer add room temperature cream cheese and sugar.  Beat until fluffy, scraping the bowl occasionally.  Add pumpkin pie filling a little at a time until well blended and smooth, again scraping the bowl occasionally. Mix in the dry instant vanilla pudding, if using.  Fold 2 cups whipped topping into the pumpkin mixture until well incorporated.

Spoon mixture into prepared graham cracker crust and spread to fill evenly. Refrigerate overnight or at least 2-hours before serving.  If using a pie shell, serve from the pie plate.  If using a spring form pan, run a knife around the side of the pan before releasing the spring clamp. 

Before serving, decorate top of cheesecake with the remaining whipped topping. 

Makes 8-10 servings.

To make the crust, combine the crumbs, sugar and melted butter together.  Press into a 9-inch pie plate or spring form pan.  I used the spring form pan and came up the sides with the crumbs about an inch.  Refrigerate or bake the crust according to the recipe directions.  I like to bake the crust as I think it gives a firmer crumb and doesn't crumble as easily when cutting.

Make sure you use Pumpkin Pie Filling and not plain pumpkin when you make the cheesecake mixture. 

Beat the cream cheese and sugar together.  Gradually add the pumpkin pie filling, mixing until smooth.  If using, beat in the instant pudding.  Fold in the whipped topping.

A little instant pudding will stabilize the cheesecake, especially if the weather is warm.

Pour the cheesecake filling over the crumb crust.  Spread and smooth the top right to the edge of the pan.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight is even better.

When the cheesecake is ready to serve, run a knife or small spatula around the inside of the pan to loosen.  Then release the spring clamp to remove the cake.  If you have used a regular pie plate serve it directly from the dish.

Place your finished dessert on a lovely serving plate and garnish with remaining whipped topping.   I've sprinkled a little cinnamon sugar over the cream.

 Light and airy. Luscious and delicious.

A piece for me, and...

 Here's a piece for YOU!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Apple Crisp

I like apples, but I really like (would I dare say, love) apples in juicy pies, cakes and crisps.  Now, that's real comfort.  Apple Crisp is one of the easiest of the apple desserts to make as it doesn't take much baking skill to turn out a lovely, fragrant and mouth-watering dessert worthy of not only the family table but it's company approved as well.   Who doesn't like a warm, cinnamon flavoured apple crisp topped with a scoop of melting vanilla ice cream?   I'm sure there are some who'd turn up their noses at Apple Crisp but I'll wager they'll eat the ice cream!  You must forgive those people and anyway, there's more for you if they won't eat it. 

I like Apple Crisp because it is so easy to make.  Sometimes I have a hankering for apple pie but not the will to make one so I'll say to myself, "Lois, make apple crisp instead." So, I do.   Apple Crisp gives you that apple pie flavour with the goodness of an oatmeal cookie topping, less calories than a pie and less mess and time.  Topped with ice cream it just hits the taste buds in all the right places.  My goodness, Apple Crisp is so much healthier than pie that I'd feel justified eating it for breakfast! 

I have used my mother-in-law's apples for this recipe.  She has a huge apple tree just outside her
One bag peeled, three left to go.
fence, but still inside her property line, that has had a bumper crop this year.  Don brought home four large bags of apples the other day (I'd say about 50+ pounds) and I've been busy peeling and freezing some of the apple slices for later on this winter.  I'm not sure what kind of apples they are but they are very similar to a golden delicious--the right colour and shape but not as sweet.  This large tree most likely grew from a discarded apple core.  Years ago, Don's father had a car ramp built in that very spot.  He and the boys used it for getting up under their cars, making car repair much easier.  I suspect one of them was munching on a golden delicious and threw the core away right where this tree grew.  It's amazing how large the apples grow from a seed grown tree.  

The cornstarch is optional in this recipe but if you have very juicy apples you may want to use it. 

Apple Crisp

5 or 6 large apples
¼ cup brown sugar
1½ teaspoons cornstarch, optional
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons butter

Crisp Topping:
½ cup oatmeal
½ cup flour
¼ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup very soft butter

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  (If your oven is very hot turn it down to 350 degrees.)  Have an 8 or 9-inch square baking dish ready. 

For the filling, peel and slice apples and place in the baking dish.  In a small bowl, mix ¼ cup brown sugar, corn starch, if using, cinnamon and nutmeg until well blended.  Sprinkle over the sliced apples and mix through.  Dot with 2 teaspoons of butter.

For the topping, mix the oatmeal, flour, the remaining ¼ cup brown sugar, baking soda and salt together until well blended.  Rub in the soft butter until a crumbly mix is formed.  Sprinkle over the apple mixture, spreading evenly.

Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until apples are bubbling and topping is lightly browned and crisp. 

Serve warm or cold with ice cream.    Makes 6 servings. 

Peel and slice the apples.  The apples should fill at least half the dish.  Mix the sugar and spices together and mix with the apples.  Dot with butter.

For the topping mix the oatmeal, flour, sugar and butter together until crumbly.  Spread over apples and bake until bubbling and golden brown.

Doesn't that look delicious!

 Ice cream standing by on the side.

A quick but delicious dessert for any occasion!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Super Good Pumpkin Bread

It's that time of the year again.  Pumpkins, squash, apples and root vegetables.  Fall is not my favourite time of the year.  It foreshadows winter and I dislike (hate) winter weather.  You can have your pretty coloured leaves and crisp fall days, I'd rather have summer.  We have such a short summer, with an almost non-existent spring,  it almost makes me cry to think our warm weather is gone. Oh, well, for all that, autumn does have it's good points and pumpkin is one of them. 

I thought I'd dig out one of my favourite Pumpkin Bread recipes, to start with, and continue on with a few more pumpkin recipes before Thanksgiving overtakes us.

This is a super tasting recipe for Pumpkin Bread.  I know, because that's what I wrote above the recipe when I first made it many years ago.  The recipe comes from the 1975 edition of the Betty Crocker's Cookbook and the original recipe calls for shortening but I've adapted the recipe to use oil. You'll notice, if you look at the picture to the right, that I've also cut the ingredients in half to make one loaf instead of two. 

Don't despair if you have no pumpkin on hand.  This spicy, sweet bread can be made substituting well mashed sweet potato or even pureed carrots for the pumpkin.  You'll not notice much of a difference whatever you use.   

Not everyone likes nuts or raisins in their bread so these are optional.  I like nuts in this bread but don't like the raisins.  Funny, because I usually like raisins in just about anything.   I made two loaves today--one with nuts and one without.  That should please just about everyone and if you have kiddies who cannot take nuts or nut products to school the nutless loaf makes a great lunch box treat.

Pumpkin Bread
⅓ cup oil
1⅓ cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup cooked pumpkin
⅓ cup water
1⅔ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon cloves
⅓ cup coarsely chopped nuts (optional)
⅓ cup raisins (optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and line one 9x5x3-inch loaf pan.  Or use an 8x4x2-inch loaf pan and make 2 or 3 muffins to eat immediately. 

In large bowl, Mix oil and sugar until well combined.  Beat in eggs, pumpkin and water.  Blend in flour, soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and cloves, mixing well. Stir in nuts and raisins.

Pour into prepared pan.  Bake about 70 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in centre comes out clean.  Cool 5 minutes in pan before removing.  When completely cool, wrap in plastic wrap and store overnight before slicing.  If you made a few muffins, they can be eaten as soon as they are cool enough to eat without burning your tongue.

Makes 1 loaf or 12-16 slices. 

Mix oil and sugar together and beat in eggs, pumpkin and water.  Blend in the dry ingredients, mixing well.  Stir in the nuts or raisins if using.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

First loaf, baked to perfection.
And a few muffins to eat right away.  I baked the muffins for 20 minutes.

Two loaves--one without nuts and one with nuts.

Close Up!

Pumpkin Bread with nuts.

A nutty slice or two for me with a little butter for a treat.

Choose your slice!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Whole Wheat Crackers

We enjoy homemade crackers from time to time.  They are so much nicer than bought crackers, I don't know why I don't make them more often.  These are delicious served along side a bowl of soup or used to scoop up an egg salad or used as an alternative to potato chips when you get the late-night munchies. They also take a little jam or cheese as any conventional cracker would. 

I don't usually use the sugar, but do so if you desire.  The sugar barely makes a difference but you will have a slightly sweeter cracker.  

I also made a few animal crackers today.  I added cinnamon to the original recipe and cut out the crackers with animal cookie cutters.  So cute for the kiddies. 

Whole Wheat Crackers
1 cup whole wheat flour
¼-½ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar, optional
½ teaspoon baking powder
2-3 tablespoons cold water
¼ cup + 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Coarse salt or sugar for sprinkling on top, optional

Animal Crackers add 1 teaspoon cinnamon and add the sugar.  Sprinkle with coarse sugar before baking.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  You will need an ungreased 15x10-inch cookie or baking sheet. 
In a medium bowl, mix dry ingredients together. Mix the oil and water together and add all together to the flour mixture.  Stir together until you have a soft lump of dough.  Don't over work the dough.   

Roll dough directly out on the cookie or on a piece of parchment paper and transfer to the pan.  Score into squares or rectangles.  Sprinkle with salt, if desired.   Bake 375 degree oven for 10 minutes or until golden brown.  Watch that the crackers do not burn.

Let crackers cool on pan before removing.  Store in air tight container.  

Makes about 18-24 crackers, depending on how you cut them.  

Gather a few simple ingredients and you can have homemade crackers.  The sugar is optional.

Mix the dry ingredients together.  Mix the water and oil together and pour into the flour and mix all together.  You should have a nice soft lump of dough.  Don't over work the dough.

You may roll the dough directly on to the pan or roll out on parchment paper and transfer dough and paper to the baking sheet.

Use a knife or a pizza cutter to score the dough before baking.  Make your crackers as big or small as you want.  Use a fork to poke holes in the dough to keep it from blistering.  This is called "docking" the dough.  Sprinkle a little coarse salt on the crackers if you wish.

Bake the crackers for 10-12 minutes.  These are baked perfectly.  Watch very carefully as they will burn quickly once they are baked.  I had to throw out my first batch this morning because I wasn't vigilant the last minute or two.

I made rectangular crackers and then remembered I had animal cookie cutters, so I made animal crackers as well.  I added cinnamon to the animal cracker dough and sprinkled the  dough animals with a little coarse sugar.

Animal Crackers ready for soup.  Listen here for the song, Animal Crackers in My Soup.

Ready for a little jam or cheese.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Corn Salad with Apple and Pineapple

The jury is out but the great debate continues. Is it Corn and Pineapple Salad?  Corn and Apple Salad?  Or Corn, Apple and Pineapple Salad?  I polled several people today (my contribution to the statistical sciences) to find out what they made or liked best.  There was no foregone conclusion--almost a three-way split as to the making and eating of this salad, the only constant being the corn. And there were some who had never made it or even eaten it!!! 

Corn Salad, with its variations, is another one of those iconic Newfoundland salads that makes an appearance on many a cold plate or at summer barbecue meals.   Whoever thought of putting corn and apple or pineapple together in a mayonnaise dressing must have been brilliant.  And that's how it's made--corn, pineapple (or apple) and mayonnaise or salad dressing (Miracle Whip).  Simple, simple, simple. Tasty, tasty, tasty. 

Simple, simple, simple--well, it can be or. . . you can add another ingredient or two and make it simple, simple but still tasty, tasty, tasty.  My extra ingredient is a diced, crisp red apple because I like both the pineapple and apple and can't choose.  It adds not only a splash of colour to the yellow salad but also another layer of flavour.  

I am not alone in the addition of the apple (or pineapple for those who formerly just used apple and corn).  I had one lady tell me she would make a both a Corn/Pineapple Salad  and a Corn/Apple Salad and put them in the same bowl, side by side so everyone could have their favourtie salad from either side or right down the middle.  She said she was trying to please everyone in her family. Ah, another superwoman. But I babble on....back to the salad at hand.    

Optional ingredients are a little apple cider vinegar and a spoonful of sugar.  The apple cider vinegar enhances the apple flavour and the sugar can be used if you like a sweeter dressing, especially if you use the mayonnaise.  And, that's all there is too it.  Just make sure you drain the corn and pineapple well before mixing with the dressing; even dry it off with paper toweling if it feels wet.  One does not want a weepy salad.  Because of the weeping factor, this salad is best made shortly (an hour or so) before serving.  

Corn Salad with Apple and Pineapple
1 can of corn niblets, 341 ml or 12 fl. oz. or 1½ cups cold, cooked corn, well drained
1 can pineapple tidbits, 398 ml or 14 f. oz or 1¾ cups, measured and then well drained
1 medium/large red, crisp apple, diced with peel on
¼-⅓ cup mayonnaise or Miracle Whip type salad dressing
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, optional
1 teaspoon sugar, optional
A shake or 2 of salt and pepper, if desired

Drain corn and pineapple until very dry.  The pineapple juice may be saved for fruit punch or a smoothie (or just drink it while making the salad).  Place the dry corn and pineapple in a medium sized bowl.

Wash and dry the apple.  Leave on the skin and dice in medium pieces.  Mix with the corn and pineapple.  Add the mayonnaise or salad dressing.  Add the apple cider vinegar and sugar if using.  Give a shake or 2 of salt and pepper if you'd like and combine everything.  Refrigerate until ready to use. 

Makes about 3 cups of salad or 4-6 servings.

The main ingredients.  I used frozen corn which I cooked, drained and cooled.  You can see, how after draining the pineapple, I spread it out on paper towels and patted it as dry as I could get it.  I used the reddest apple I could find.

The most labour intensive job to this salad is dicing the apples.  It comes together in minutes once everything is in the bowl.   I like to use mayonnaise as the dressing with the apple cider vinegar and sugar.  I rarely use salt or pepper with this salad but be my guest if you'd like to.

A tasty salad for any cold plate or side dish for a barbecue. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Roasted Vegetable Pasta

Food can evoke strong memories of times past.  Watching Don munch on an apple in the evening brings vivid memories of horrible stomach cramps.  Aunt Edith is pushing my little sister, Heather, in a stroller and I'm walking by her side doubled up in pain.  Someone had given me an apple to eat before we left my grandmother's house and it attacked me when we were half-way home.  I never eat apples at night since that time.   Cold turkey sandwiches (even though I don't eat them anymore) always reminds me of a late Christmas night supper when I was a child.  It was all we could manage to eat after a sumptuous dinner earlier in the day.   Turnip greens remind me of choking.  Carrot cake reminds me of our wedding and so it goes on.  I'm sure most everyone can relate to memories conjured up by certain foods.  And so it is with today's recipe--Roasted Vegetable Pasta.

A few years ago we attended the summer wedding of Ashley, the daughter of our good friends, Lee and Cheryl.  The whole family went and we had a happy week together.  The wedding was held in Moncton where Lee's parents live and where we always love visiting "Nanny" and "Grampy".  The beautiful beach wedding went off without any noticeable problems (ask Ashley about the wedding bouquet, haha) and the happy couple was sent on their way with every good wish a newly married couple could want.  The day after the wedding a few of us set off in our cars and did a bit of touristy sight-seeing around the Maritime provinces, going to Prince Edward Island for a day or so (meeting up with the honeymooners for a meal) and ended up in Halifax for the last night of the Halifax International Busker's Festival.  We were able to take in a few of the acts at the festival and had supper at one of the many restaurants on the waterfront.  The week ended much too soon but I have the memories which come flooding back (the car trip, the wedding, a double decker bus tour, ice cream at COWS, light houses, Anne of Green Gables, 9 in a motel room, the buskers, Beaver Tails, ferry rides, forgotten pillows) especially when I have the same meal that we ate that last evening in Halifax. 

The menu at most of these restaurants are the expected fare of sea food, steaks and fast foods.  As Don and I are vegetarian there can be difficulties finding a suitable and enjoyable meal at most restaurants but as I perused the menu my eyes fell on a grilled vegetable pasta dish.  It sounded good as I read the description and so we ordered the meal.  It was a dish of pasta with grilled vegetables and goat cheese.  Don changed his order to include a tomato sauce with his and I had mine as it was in the menu.  Either way, the meal was delicious, except for the goat cheese.  I can't seem to take to goat cheese.  Maybe I've never had the right kind but every kind I've tasted has a nasty "goaty" flavour.  (Which would make sense, coming from a goat.)  I guess it's an acquired taste. But even goat cheese reminds me of that good week. 

I enjoyed the meal so much I recreated it when I came home and every time I make it I remember that lovely week we had with our good friends.  I usually roast the vegetables in the oven but they can also be successfully grilled on the barbeque in a grilling basket.  Use your favourite vegetables if you don't like or have the ones in this recipe.  If you like goat cheese, go ahead and use a couple of tablespoons with your vegetables.  I use Parmesan, Mozzarella or Feta cheese.

Roasted Vegetable Pasta
2 peppers-- or mixed green, red and yellow/orange pepper, cut in large pieces
1 small eggplant, unpeeled, cut in ½ inch slices
1 or 2 medium onions–red or white-peeled and thickly sliced
2 Portobello mushrooms, or small container of white mushrooms, wiped clean and thickly sliced
1 medium zucchini-unpeeled and thickly sliced
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste

1 large can plum tomatoes with juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil 
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon sugar
Pinch baking soda, optional
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Cooked Pasta–enough for 4 full servings (Linguine or rotini are good for this recipe.)

Parmesan, Mozzarella or Feta cheese to garnish

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.   Line a large shallow pan with non-stick foil.  A large rimmed cookie sheet works well for this. 

Place prepared vegetables* in large bowl and pour olive oil and vinegar over.  Mix well. With a slotted spoon transfer to prepared pan.   Season with salt and pepper.  Place in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes until tender crisp or desired doneness.  Stir once or twice while roasting. 

While vegetables are cooking start sauce. In a large frying pan heat olive oil over low heat.  Pour canned tomatoes into the olive oil and chop roughly with edge of spoon as the tomatoes heat. Cook in olive oil until mushy and juice is thickened a little.  Add herbs, sugar and salt and pepper to taste.  If your sauce is too acidic, add a pinch of baking soda to neutralize the acid.  Just before serving add the 2 tablespoon Parmesan cheese and mix through. Note:  If using fresh herbs, mix in just before serving.

While sauce is cooking start pasta.  Cook according to package directions.

To serve, mix sauce through the pasta.  Divide among 4 pasta bowls.  Top with grilled vegetables. Garnish with favourite cheese.

Makes 4 dinner size servings or 8 side servings.

This recipe can be prepared vegan or gluten free by using vegan cheese or GF pasta. 

*Any favourite vegetables suitable for grilling may be used.

Prepare the vegetables by cutting them in large chunks.  It's best to use vegetables that take approximately the same cooking time. 

Place the prepared vegetables in a large bowl and mix with the oil and vinegar.  Spread on a non-stick foil lined pan and place in the hot oven to roast.

While the vegetables are roasting, make the sauce.  It should reduce and thicken.  If you use fresh herbs, mix them in the sauce just before serving.

When the vegetables are roasted they should have a lovely sweet balsamic vinegar glaze. 

Cook the pasta according to package directions and mix with the sauce.  Serve pasta topped with generous servings of the grilled vegetables.  Top with your favourite cheese.

Oh, the memories that come flooding back!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Rice Krispie Butterscotch Squares--No Marshmallows

These Rice Krispie Butterscotch Squares are a tasty alternative to the classic marshmallow square that just about everyone has tasted and loves.  Acutally, these Rice Krispie Butterscotch Squares are addictive if the number of squares I felt obligated to eat testing them for this recipe is any indication.   They're "moreish" as Aunt Sadie would have said.  I think I should "test" one more.  One must keep up one's strength for writing, you know. . .

Not everyone eats marshmallows--just ask your vegan friends.  And many vegetarians won't eat the fluffy marshmallow, either.  It's because they contain gelatin which is rendered from animal bones.  (I'll leave that ethical question for you to answer for yourself, I'm just giving the reason for the abstinence.)  Be that as it may, these squares are so tasty, you won't even be looking for the marshmallows. 

This is another recipe from the old blue church cookbook that the Blueberry Dreams came from on a previous post.   I just love that old book. 

We've enjoyed these squares for years because they are so good.  But just recently it occurred to me that they can be made vegan and gluten free for people who eat this way.  They can be made very successfully with a vegan margarine and if you use a GF crisp rice cereal, they are also suitable for the gluten free gang.   These are just a crowd pleaser any way you look at them, unless you don't eat sugar. (You're definitely on the wrong blog if you don't eat sugar.)  

I made these with the 5 cups of cereal but I think I like them better made with the 4 cups.  I like the gooey texture that the lesser amount of cereal gives.  But, it's up to you.  You'll make these more than once so you will eventually figure out how you like them best.  I really think I should now go and make another batch with the 4 cups of cereal just to make sure that's how I like them best. Hahahahaha!

Rice Krispie Butterscotch Squares
4-5 cups crisp rice cereal (Rice Krispies)
¾ cup brown sugar
¼ cup butter or margarine
¼ cup corn syrup or golden syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla or maple flavouring
Pinch salt

Grease and line with parchment paper an 8- or 9-inch square pan.

Over medium heat, in a large saucepan, cook brown sugar, butter or margarine, and corn syrup together until just dissolved. I used a candy thermometer and I brought the temperature to 200 degrees, just below the soft ball stage.  Remove from heat immediately.

Add salt and flavouring, stirring to mix.  Add the Rice Krispies.  Use only 4 cups if you like a gooey cookie.  Mix until well coated with syrup mixture.  Press into prepared square pan.  Cool for several hours before cutting into squares.  Store in covered container.

If desired, a drizzle of chocolate may be used to decorate each square. 

Measure 4 or 5 cups of Rice Krispies or other crisp rice cereal.  If you like a gooey cookie, use the 4 cups.  If you like a firmer cookie, use the 5 cups.

Melt the butter, brown sugar and corn syrup together until dissolved.  I cooked my mixture to 200 degrees on a candy thermometer.  Don't forget to add the vanilla and salt when the syrup is cooked.  Mix in the cereal and stir until completely coated. Pack into prepared 8-or 9-inch pan.  Grease the bottom of a measuring cup and use that to pack in the mixture. 

I don't know what the prognostications of spilling salt are, but I've superseded all dour expectations of those predictions trying to photograph this dash of salt.  

This little set of measuring spoons was a gift from Vicki, my daughter-in-law.  She gave them to me before she was even going out with Peter.  Who knew she'd someday marry my son?

When the Rice Krispie Butterscotch Squares are cold remove them from the pan.  The overhanging parchment paper makes removal so easy.

Cut the squares as large or small as you want.  I made 25 squares cutting them in rows of 5x5. 

 Drizzle the squares with melted chocolate, if you wish.

Pile them on a plate and watch them disappear!