On a particular morning, not unlike many before, I started to head down a dangerous path in my own head. You know the one – questions arise of the purpose of your path, and why you are not where you think you should be, and a wave of self-doubt starts to build. Usually I wander down that path, taking my time to really explore the scenery. Often unpleasant and dark, dreary and exhausting. It’s a path where the wandering seems to have intention but from up above it’s an endless circle, with no particular purpose except possibly to veer you off of the path you are really supposed to be traveling.

On this particular morning I had just started wondering before I realized I didn’t want to go there. I could tell on this day the there was no hope of it being productive and it was destined to be destructive and dangerous. So I stopped. And I realized that the only way I was going to keep off of that path was to concern myself with others. To take the focus off of myself and to redirect it towards bringing a smile to someone else’s day.

So I went home and baked. Smore’s krispie treats to be precise. My mind was content to focus on the browning of the butter, letting the wafts of soft nuttiness wash away any lingering bits of negativity. It’s hard to not smile when dealing with marshmallows and that’s just what I did as I stirred them into the browned butter.


Any remaining sense of aggression was pounded away as I crushed graham crackers and stirred them together with rice cereal and dark chocolate chips. The incessantly sticky marshmallows and butter brought everything together and just ever so slightly melted the chocolate. Not long after we sampled then packaged the rest up to deliver.

Random Acts of Cookies.

A cookie. It’s such a simple thing, but it’s a guarantee of a better day, especially when it’s completely unexpected.


On that particular day I never even thought to wander down that destructive path again. I was happy to be in the kitchen and even happier to imagine the smiles brought on by the surprise of something sweet. I’ve found a new path that has nothing to do with me and everything to do with thinking of someone else and in that I am filled with joy.

There will be more Random Acts of Cookies. I think we should start a movement. Of course it takes more than cookies to heal the deep pain present in this broken world but it’s definitely a start. A good start.

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Smores Krispie Treats


5 tablespoons butter

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

5 cups mini marshmallows

5 cups crisped rice cereal

9 sheets graham crackers (yields 2 cups crumbs)

1 cup dark chocolate chopped or chips

Butter an 9 or 10” square pan.

In a large pan melt the butter on medium heat. Once all the melted the butter will continue to boil and the milk solids will start to bubble up. The butter will foam. Once the foam settles back on itself you will have browned butter. You should notice a nutty smell and there will be flecks of golden butter bits on the bottom of the pan. Turn off the heat and add the marshmallows and salt. Stir to combine and let sit.

Crush the graham crackers to create crumbs. Keep some pieces larger so you’ll have bits of graham crackers to bite in to.

In a large bowl combine the rice cereal, graham crackers, and chocolate chips.

Continue to stir the brown butter and marshmallows until they are completely melted. This will also help to cool the butter enough so that it doesn’t melt the chocolate chips too much.

Add the marshmallows to the cereal mixture and stir to combine. Press firmly into prepared pan and set aside to cool, about an hour. Cut and serve. Package and give.


69 Responses to “Film Friday: random acts of cookies”

  1. la domestique

    I heard someone say once that fulfillment comes from helping others. Spot on I think. Also, never under-estimate the power of the surprise cookie.

  2. Daydreamer Desserts

    I personally think this is an excellent start, and fully support the random acts of cookies. These s’mores krispies treats would definitely help heal any ailment of mine.

  3. Megan Elise

    I love this idea. It reminds me of bringing surprise May Day baskets to church shut-ins when I was younger and I can only imagine how nice it would be to open your door to those adorable packages and delicious treats. Also, it’s nearly impossible to feel self-focused when you’re doing something for others. The pictures are quite nice too…

    I also posted film this week (Tuesday but film nonetheless) 🙂

  4. Katja

    ah so nice and so yummy looking. I’ve been thinking of making rice crispy treats with the new gluten-free rice crispies the other day and I’m for sure gonna make some tonight. Give them away over the weekend.
    Thank you for the inspiration.

  5. Kathleen

    What a great idea! I love baking! But, sometime I decide not to because I will be the one polishing off the yummies. Now I can do what I enjoy, while teaching my son the beauty of doing nice things for other people.
    Thanks! We are starting today with this recipe!

  6. Maia

    You’ve perfectly captured how therapeutic cooking/baking can be — in quieting the mind, and in brightening your day as well as someone else’s. Thank you for sharing your well-written insight and honesty! Truly inspired and inspiring!

  7. Christi's Chirps

    Love this! Thanks for the inspiration. I definitely want to do this soon. The Smores Krispie Cookies look so yummy!


  8. Jamie

    Brilliant idea! In fact I was wavering on what to take to a big family picnic tomorrow and now it’s going to be cookies. Thank you!

  9. tracy

    you’re way of thinking is the BEST way. It’s all about energy and channeling it in the RIGHT WAY. If you give negative thoughts power then they HAVE POWER.You cultivate it and breed more negative thoughts! Stop them in their tracks and move on. If only I knew this in my 20s. Life would be WAAAY different.


  10. Megan Gordon

    I love this, Ashley (and you have some lucky neighbors!). I just received a pie plate in the mail today from my mom for no reason at all–apparently she’s been feeling a little low lately and wanted to get her daughters something that reminded her of us. Made my day. Such a good way to pass on positive energy when you need a little yourself. Happy, happy weekend!

  11. Sarah

    Way to go darling girl! I just wanted you to know that when I am feeling low I often look at your blog to get inspired and renew my energy. So you bring me “surprise cookies” a lot. You just didn’t know it . . .

  12. Brenda

    Those are amazingly beautiful pictures. Are they for the next Sunset magazine? Glad you found brightness in your day.

  13. uaskigyrl

    That’s a GREAT idea! Have you thought about starting a Random Acts of Cookies FB page or a Twitter party or something? You could use the #randomactsofcookies and have people post pics of cookies that they’ve given away!

  14. MG Atwood

    sorry to make it “all about me” but why oh why do we live so far apart? 🙂 What a sweet gesture. I love it. If I didn’t have such a disorder with cookies, maybe just maybe I could make some and not eat them all! I will try..really I will.

  15. alex

    love this idea. I feel like I do this for my co-workers, I always feel better baking for others!

  16. Anne Marie

    Ashley, I have decided that this is the plight for brilliant, creative mothers (and probably all mothers). Perhaps this speaks nothing to the questions you have of your own path, but I would say a third of my own self-questioning revolves around how I spend my time “as a mother” and how I spend my time as a “professional human being.” It is easy for me to think back to the talents and pursuits I had before children and chastise myself for not having developed them to their furthest.

    A blog is a lovely place to work that out, huh?, even if it is mostly about food (speaking for myself). You are talented and your children will be proud of your accomplishments beyond being a fantastic mother too.

    • Ashley Rodriguez

      @Anne Marie – We women are so hard on ourselves aren’t we? Thank you for commenting. I’m so blessed to have this space and have people like you who read and help me figure this mess out. 🙂 I love that we are fostering a community of people with similar thoughts and concerns and rather than envying one another we are encouraging. Beautiful.

  17. Julie

    What a GREAT movement! I’m in. It’s amazing what a batch of cookies will do. I baked some in the palliative care ward a few years ago, while visiting a friend. Everyone who was there was there day and night, tired, sad. It’s amazing the comfort and smiles a tray of warm cookies (and the smell of them baking) brought. When you can’t do anything else, bake cookies.

  18. Lorna

    Just when I have a few moments of doubt, a glance at your blog and I am back on track. When there seems little point in anything it’s good to be reminded that there is so much beauty in this world, so much kindness and you, Ashley Rogdriguez, so GET this! Thank you for bringing kindness and perspective to my day 🙂 Love XXX

  19. kristin @ contented me

    I think this is an amazing idea! And I already have a few people in mind who I would love to surprise with a baked treat. The krispie treats make my mouth water… thanks for the recipe!

  20. BrendaB

    I love this idea! Cookies are my favorite thing to bake … and eat. Question: I can’t read the tag on the package in your picture. Did you say who the cookies are from? Or is it anonymous to make it more random?

  21. eM

    yes! I like to deliver random acts of pie. Pie makes everything better – for the baker and the eater! 😉

  22. Kaitlin

    I am glad you found such a beautiful way to manage the way you were feeling. I love this idea, and I am all up for being part of the movement!

  23. Jo Green

    Wow, those look delish!!! I would be pretty happy to find a package like that on my doorstep! Great movement idea! 🙂

  24. Lucia

    Thinking can make you feel even more sad. Baking can heal you. Baking for other people can heal other people too. We should all stop thinking and start baking, perhaps.

  25. Allie Peach

    I love the way you write. I don’t know if I’ve just had too much coffee this morning, or if your posts are really speaking to my soul, but either way, it’s moving and beautiful. Thank you so much for the inspiration.

  26. Brandon

    Just wanted to let you know that I was feeling the funk today so I followed you lead and dropped off a package of Vegan Brownies at someone’s house – it made me feel much better. Consider us the newest member of the “Random Acts of Sweetness” movement!

  27. Mary Brown

    I tried this recipe with 1/4 c. sliced Almonds toasted in skillet while browning butter before adding the marshmallows and Rice Krispies as I had no chocolate chips at the time with good results. Loved the Almond flavor.
    Absolutely so true that to get busy giving to others is a great cure for the blues.

  28. Heidi Collins

    Love the food pics! especially love the pic of the 3 blueberries and the large bubble in the creme brule. gorgeous!

  29. Mrs. L

    Ohhhhhh…so that’s why I’ve been baking so much lately (a mind on baking = a mind NOT plummeting down the rabbit hole). I’ve also been eating most of it myself, unfortunately. Mr. L told me last night that I either need an intervention or to start giving things away. It was hard to understand him, though, because his mouth was full of cookie.

  30. Valerie

    Great idea! So simple but so good. I just made these as individual treats for my husband’s halloween get together. The brown butter trick is fabulous.

  31. Willow

    Hi! I just found this post via This Homemade Life – I love it! I’m actually challenging myself to do 30 Random Acts of Kindness in 30 Days, and I’m planning to send some cookies to a few friends I haven’t seen in a long time. This Homemade Life was inspired by you, and I was inspired by her… that’s the way kindness works! I’m documenting my 30 Days of RAK’s (Random Acts of Kindness) on my blog, and encouraging other’s to join in, if you’re interested. Random Acts of Cookies totally count! 😉

  32. Wendy

    I made these last night for Teacher and Staff appreciation day at my daughter’s school. These are by far the best rice krispie treats I’ve ever tried! I’m making them again tonight because I had to bring them all to school and we were only able to eat a few scraps! haha I used a full bag of mini marshmallows and a chopped Ghirardelli’s dark chocolate bar. So. Good. Thanks for sharing!


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