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Crispy Kale Chips

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It may be hard to believe, but kale is super easy to turn into a shatteringly-crisp, salty treat that satisfies potato chip cravings.  OK, if you REALLY need potato chips, then this won’t give you the same flavor, but they are delicious and the crisp & salty combo along with the distinct flavor is addictive!  And if you’re going to be addicted to something, it may as well be something this healthy, right?

Crispy Kale Recipe
The biggest secret to getting the kale super-crisp is to dry them in a salad spinner. If there is moisture on the leaves, the kale will steam, not crisp. Also, do not salt the kale until after they have come out of the oven. If you salt beforehand, the salt will just cause the kale to release moisture…thus steaming instead of crisping. I’ve also found that the convection setting on my oven works really well too – I set the convection on 325F and bake for about 10-15 minutes. Have fun with this recipe, I sometimes mix the salt with Cajun or Creole seasoning.

4 giant handfuls of kale, torn into bite-sized pieces and tough stems removed (about 1/3 pound)
1-2 tablespoons olive oil (you can lightly mist with oil for less calories)
sea salt or kosher salt

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Place the kale leaves into a salad spinner and spin all of the water out of the kale. Dump the water and repeat one or two times more just to make sure that the kale is extra dizzy and dry. Use a towel to blot any extra water on the leaves. Place the kale on the baking sheet.

3. Drizzle olive oil over the kale leaves and use your hands to toss and coat the leaves. Bake in the oven for 12-20 minutes until leaves are crisp. Take a peek at the 12 minute mark – the timing all depends on how much olive oil you use. Just use a spatula or tongs to touch the leaves, if they are paper-thin crackly, the kale is done. If the leaves are still a bit soft, leave them in for another 2 minutes. Do not let the leaves turn brown (they’ll be burnt and bitter) Remove from oven, sprinkle with salt and serve.

Recipe from Steamy Kitchen

Veronica’s Note: I should add that these should be eaten as soon as they’re cooled and not stored.  If you put them in an airtight container or baggie, they will lose their crispness.  OK, I actually don’t have first-hand knowledge of this since we eat the whole batch as soon as it’s out of the oven, no matter how big it is, but I’ve read it somewhere and it makes sense to me. Just thought I’d give you a heads-up!

Salted Brown Butter Crispy Treats


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THESE ARE SO GOOD!

Everyone likes Rice Krispies Treats, but browning the butter before making them really kicks these up a notch.  I go through about 3 lbs of butter a week, so that probably counts as an obsession, but what I’m really obsessed with is browning it.  I just LOVE the flavor of browned butter.  I love the smell of it as it’s cooking.  I love the look of it, with the dark brown specks (which also fleck these treats).  I just love everything about it.  So, naturally, I love these.

I made a double batch, and I’m glad I did b/c my husband and I ate half the recipe immediately, which left just enough to package up to ship out for gifts.

These are very simple, the only difference between it and the original recipe being that you add salt and brown the butter first, which just tacks on about 5 minutes to the prep time.  (OK fine, that and the fact that there’s a LOT more butter in it…but I can’t complain about that!)  These would be great for Christmas, all-occasion gifts, bake sales, potlucks, after-school snacks, after dinner treats, afternoon snacks, after-breakfast snacks, midnight snacks, “I just ate a tomato so I need to eat something unhealthy to balance out my diet” snacks….I think you get the picture.

I don’t, however, recommend doubling the recipe unless you have a lot of people to feed because, if you’re anything like me, you won’t be able to stop eating them until they’re gone.

Salted Brown Butter Crispy Treats
From Smitten Kitchen, with slightly modified instructions

1 stick unsalted butter, plus extra for the pan
1 10-ounce bag marshmallows
Heaping 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
6 cups Rice Krispies cereal (about half a 12-ounce box)

Butter (or coat with non-stick spray) an 8-inch square cake pan with 2-inch sides.

In a large pot, melt butter over medium-low heat. It will melt, then foam, then turn clear golden and finally start to turn brown and smell nutty. Stir frequently, scraping up any bits from the bottom as you do.

When the butter takes on a nutty color and the solids have turned a chocolate-brown, stir in the salt & marshmallows. Turn off the heat once the marshmallows are melted and the mixture is smooth.

Remove the pot from the stove and stir in the cereal. Quickly spread into prepared pan. I liked to use a piece of waxed or parchment paper that I’ve sprayed with oil to press it firmly and evenly into the edges and corners, though a silicon spatula works almost as well.

Let cool, cut into squares and get ready to make new friends.

Veronica’s Notes: If you use salted butter, omit the salt from the recipe.  If you use table salt, use a scant 1/4 teaspoon.

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