Why It Works
- Due to its shallow depth, this caramel is easier to judge by color than by temperature, so aim for a light amber hue.
- Chilled cream shocks the caramel to halt cooking.
- A final cooking temperature of 245°F gives the caramel a thick and chewy texture.
- The dairy in milk chocolate gives the cookies a fudge-like texture.
With gooey homemade caramel, creamy milk chocolate, and crunchy rice, these no-bake cookies are as satisfying as a candy bar, but way easier to make. Just boil up a pot of sugar water until it turns thick and golden like clover honey, then add some chilled cream and simmer a few minutes more. Once it's cool, stir in a handful of chopped milk chocolate and some Rice Krispies, and you're done! The hardest part is simply waiting for the molten "batter" to set.
- 4 ounces water (1/2 cup; 115g)
- 7 ounces sugar (1 cup; 200g)
- 1/2 teaspoon (2g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt; other salts may contain additives that induce crystallization
- 10 ounces heavy cream (1 1/4 cup; 280g), straight from the fridge
- 3 ounces milk chocolate, minimum 26% cocoa butter (2/3 cup; 85g), very finely chopped (see note)
- 1 1/2 ounces Rice Krispies (1 1/2 cups; 45g)
Combine water, sugar, and salt in a 3-quart stainless steel saucier over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally with a fork until sugar dissolves and syrup is bubbling hard, about 2 minutes. Stop stirring and simmer until syrup turns pale gold, like clover honey, roughly 8 minutes. Meanwhile, measure out cream so it will be ready to add at a moment's notice.
When syrup turns pale gold, add cream and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring constantly with a heat-resistant spatula, until the foam subsides and the boiling caramel seems more molten than foamy, about 6 minutes. Clip-on a digital thermometer and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until caramel registers 245°F, about 5 minutes more.
Immediately transfer caramel to a heat-resistant bowl and allow to cool until it registers 140°F on a digital thermometer, about 40 minutes. Stir in milk chocolate until fully melted, then fold in rice. Divide into about 15 one-ounce (2-tablespoon) portions and arrange on a parchment-lined half sheet pan or cutting board, then flatten into disks with the palm of your hand. Let stand at room temperature until fully set, about 1 hour, and transfer to an airtight container with a sheet of parchment between each layer. Star Crunch will keep up to a week at room temperature, or a month if refrigerated.
This recipe requires good-quality milk chocolate, free from artificial ingredients and added fats such as palm oil. Look for brands with no less than 26% cocoa butter, or see our favorite supermarket milk chocolates for baking.