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The Next Cupcake?

Abbe Lewis - January/February 2014

New York City—Jennifer and Chris Russell were challenged by their sons one afternoon with a proposition for their local bake sale on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. After culling through their recipe box, they came across their childhood favorite—Rice Krispies Treats—and created a modified version, nixing the corn syrup. Batches of treats attracted lines around the block, so the Russell family decided to take their recipes beyond the home kitchen. Chris, a former chef at BRGR, contacted friend and pastry chef Wendy Israel (former executive pastry chef for the Essex House Hotel in NYC), who was instantly on board for gourmet treats. Following research and months of extensive recipe development, the Treat House was born.

This first-ever “crisped rice treat” establishment sells individually sized morsels for $2.25 a pop, with 10 cents going to the Food Bank for New York City. Flavors include birthday cake, caramel fleur de sel, chocolate peanut butter, s’mores, and more, while new flavors are added seasonally, such as autumnal inspirations including pumpkin pie spice and maple pecan. Elevating these from the childhood classic is the continued use of house-made marshmallows made from Treat House’s own raw sugarcane syrup, resulting in a gluten- and dairy-free treat (and kosher, to boot!).

Also on offer: the wildly popular breakfast bars (puffed brown rice, oats, flax, dried fruits, and the occasional chocolate or vanilla chips) and the crisped sandwich ice cream bars.

What’s next for the Russell family and Treat House? Expansion, of course, with hopes of outposts throughout New York City and on the West Coast.