Monday, May 2, 2016

Kitsch-en Kounter: Cinco de Mayo CHURRIOS Burro

Have you ever created something that works out surprisingly well on your first try only to be foiled by over confidence in a subsequent attempt to recreate it?  Well, get ready...

During the holidays, I decided to exploit the possibilities of my
rabbit-shaped cake mold for a last-minute, potluck dessert.

When there is no time for a cake but there is a houseful of christmas cookies, assorted candies, and a box of Rice Krispies (more than likely generic), I feel like that charmed Chopped contestant who, instead of being afraid of the mystery basket's contents, realizes he is the only one who knows to remove the membrane from prairie oysters.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Rice Krispies Reindeer - not
perfect but pretty solid for  an impromptu holiday treat!

Using a bread knife to saw chocolate-covered pretzel rods, I refashioned
them into antlers by melting the chocolate with a barbecue lighter and
"gluing" on the remaining pieces.  The ears are the neighbors' homemade
biscotti, the eyes are jordan almonds, and the details are rendered in
chocolate icing.  A snowy bed of coconut is dressed up with a few holiday
decoratifs.  The nose, of course, is a bright-red maraschino cherry!

As I never did a proper "Kitsch-en Kounter" post about Rudolph the Red-Nosed Rice Krispies Reindeer during the holidays, I felt it was acceptable to recycle the idea for Cinco de Mayo...but Rice Krispies seemed like old hat.  Then I remembered the small batch of marshmallow-Honey Nut-Cheerios (cough, store brand, cough) squares I made.  With a scant bag of Cheerios and the dregs of a marshmallow bag, I created a dessert from which we have coined the name "Churrios" for a flavor profile complimentary to that of Mexico's favorite donut stick!!!

The makings of Churrios!

It becomes acutely apparent that your father was an unusual man when your adult brother comes over for a visit and wants to "make a craft."  A lone picture exists of the one time that our dad tried to take us fishing, learning quickly that his sons were destined for different things. And so we found ourselves, two thirty-something brothers, not comatose in front of a football game, not parked at a sports bar, not playing video games, or concentrating on the contents of an automobile's engine compartment, rather brainstorming in the kitchen for ways to transform a Rice Krispies Rabbit/Reindeer into a Churrios Burro (Burr-io?).  By word and deed our dad encouraged ingenuity and creativity - culinary and otherwise - over what might be considered more masculine pursuits.  He was cool.

Included in our brainstorming session were ideas for presentation.
I quickly found one of my vintage Mexican tablecloths but immediately
became crestfallen when I  realized that I had recently discarded a bower
of paper flowers and even a mini Mexican flag...

In cooking, crafting, and sewing, my priority is always to make the most of what we have on hand.  With all the urgency of panicky usher seeking medical relief for a theater patron, I screamed, "Is there a miniature sombrero in the house?!!"  In a home where the answer to that query can come so rapidly in the affirmative, one might assume that there wasn't anything for which this project could go wanting; the Churrios Burro, however, required a very special trip to the store.

For what would a Churrios Burro be without some Chiclets and Bandera de Coco?

Nobody's immune to the chiclet-teeth Hollywood makeover!

A tad over-anxious, we un-molded the Churrios Burro before he was quite ready.  I made a cinnamon frosting with coconut milk to add some highlights/character but by the time our little Burrito was assembled, there was no time for superfluous adornments before he began to implode.

With dead M&M eyes, a blanket of flattened Bandera de Coco, a single, snaggle chiclet
tooth, and that miniature sombrero, our Churrios Burro had to hit his bed of Mexican-flag
coconut before he fell completely apart.

The lighting inside wasn't so hot; we wondered if a trip outside would improve the situation...

Clearly, it didn't...

This Churrios Burro is suffering from the dreaded "Cinco spread."
Our impatience combined with the large format of Cheerios might have
made the molded dessert a questionable choice BUT, because it still
tasted delicious, I will share the recipe without feeling like a total ASS!



1 stick of Butter
1 16 oz. Bag of Mini Marshmallows
1 17 oz. Box of Honey Nut Cheerios (or generic equivalent)
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Cinnamon-Sugar for dusting


In a heavy-bottomed dutch oven or stock pot, brown the butter (really, it makes a delicious difference).  When the butter is browned, add the entire bag of marshmallows and allow them to melt (stirring constantly).  Once the marshmallows are melted, remove the pot from the heat and stir in the cinnamon, vanilla, and cereal.  Press the combined mixture firmly into the mold of your choice.  Once set, remove the Churrios from the mold, sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar and decorate for your chosen holiday extravaganza.

But be patient before un-molding or he'll never be able to say "Heeyaw, Heeyaw, Heeyaw!"

"The Donkey Serenade" - Glenn Miller with The Andrews Sisters (1940)

Feliz Cinco de Mayo!!!  Now go make an ass of for yourself!


Mr. Tiny