July 10, 2016

Miso Cracker Jack Bars

I'm off to Japan for a work conference. I'm so excited to be back in that country! When I was in 5th grade, I spent 1 month in Nagoya, Japan as an exchange student where I got to live with a Japanese family and experience Japan. Things have changed a lot since that trip where I mainly just walked around with a disposable camera taking pictures of castles.

Now, I love to experience a culture through its food. That got me thinking about what I could do to make a dessert that celebrated and united America and Japan. Long story short, I came up with these: Miso Cracker Jacker Bars. 

Some of my taste testers say this is one of the best and most unique desserts they've ever had. The miso adds a savory saltiness that balances out the sugary sweetness of the marshmallows and buttery cracker jack. By the way, Cracker Jack is a classic American snack made of toffee coated buttery popcorn mixed with peanuts. Now are you getting it? It's basically a rice crispy marshmallow bar with cracker jacks instead + miso.

Miso Cracker Jack Bars

Preparation Time: 10 minutes 
Servings: 28 (1oz beef per slider)
Serving size: 1 slider

4 tbsp, Unsalted Butter 
10oz, Marshmallows (1 of the standard bags you find in the super market)
1 tbsp, White Miso Paste (Can usually find this in stores like Whole Foods)
8oz, Cracker Jacks (1 of the standard bags you find in the super market)
1 oz, 100% Unsweetened Dark Chocolate bar

1) Add butter to a large pot and melted it down until it turns brown, roughly 5 minutes.
2) Add marshmallows and stir it around constantly until it melted down 
3) Add miso paste and stir it around until it's well incorporated
4) At this step, you'll want to taste the marshmallow-miso mix to see if its the right salty-sweet balance for you. Keep in mind that the cracker jack is also very sweet. And I'd also recommend blowing on the hot marshmallow-miso mix sample before you taste it!
5) Add the cracker jacks and stir until its all well incorporated together
6) Turn off the heat and dump the mixture into a baking pan
7) Gently press it down with your hands until its all an even thickness
8) Let it cool for 4 hours
9) Microwave the chocolate bar in a small shallow bowl. Do this in 10 minute increments, stirring each time, until fully melted
10) Using a fork, drizzle the chocolate in random patterns on the cracker jacks. 
11) Stick the pan in the fridge for 30 minutes or until the chocolate hardens on the cracker jack
12) Cut into squares and enjoy!

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