Rice Krispies treats are an essential part of most childhoods, but Jessica Siskin, the New Yorker behind Misterkrisp, is proving that the adolescent snack can also be a museum-worthy art form.
From her original cheeseburger creation to a spitting (and delicious) image of Lady Gaga’s recent periwinkle Valentino Golden Globes dress, Siskin combines a veritable rainbow of food coloring and the age-old Rice Krispies recipe with her impressive molding skills to form beautiful desserts. With an Instagram following of nearly 70,000 and the likes of Gigi Hadid and blogger Arielle Charnas as fans, Misterkrisp has become an Instagram sensation and now fulfills between 10 and 30 custom order each week.
The ‘A-ha! moment’
It’s hard to believe, after scrolling through Misterkrisp’s 2,000 or so posts, that Siskin hasn’t been doing this her whole life. It was just shy of seven years ago that she stumbled upon her Rice Krispies treat talents.
Several years into a successful sales career at Olsen-twin-founded luxury fashion house Elizabeth and James, Siskin found herself at a slight impasse. “It was a really cool job,” she says, “but I just wasn’t feeling creatively fulfilled.”
Siskin began doing creative things on her own time, working on various art projects and enrolling in a creative-writing class at The New School. It was shortly into this endeavor, in 2012, when the then 27-year old went to her best friend’s house, where the two made some classic Rice Krispies treats. Siskin was flooded with childhood memories of the sweet snack and decided it would be the perfect thing to make for friends when they came over to her new apartment. Rice Krispies treats quickly became her thing, and Siskin began experimenting with their shapes, often opting for a heart. It wasn’t until December of that year when her treats took on the look her followers now know and love.
After accepting an invitation to a friend’s potluck dinner, Siskin was at a total loss as to what she should bring. She claims she’d never been much of a whiz in the kitchen but didn’t want to settle for a store-bought dish or something from a box, and then a friend posed an idea: why not bring one of those amazing Rice Krispies treats she was always making? The potluck’s host was an avid surfer, so Siskin thought what better to make than a Rice Krispies surfboard.
“It was a total A-ha! moment,” she says.
After finishing the surfboard, Siskin says that she had “an immediate and overwhelming impulse to make a Rice Krispies cheeseburger.” The following day, she did just that. And after snapping a photo of it to post on Instagram, she was met with more likes than ever before and bottomless praise.
“I realized I loved not only the experience of making it but also how people were reacting. I loved delighting them with these treats,” she says.
Snap, Crackle, Popping up everywhere
A few months after her entrée into Rice Krispies treat art (in September 2013, to be exact), Siskin started a dedicated Instagram page to share her creations, under the name “Misterkrisp.” She received three order requests just that day, and the orders kept coming.
Siskin pursued Misterkrisp as a hobby while attaining a creative writing MFA. With Misterkrisp’s soaring popularity and continued orders, she realized it would be a viable part-time business and left her job at Elizabeth and James. By the time she finished her MFA in May 2015, Siskin had a book deal.
“Treat Yourself!,” which was released in August 2017, features 93 projects and one recipe, arranged alphabetically from “Apple” to “Zebra.” The book promises to be “the perfect answer for any cook, crafty food lover, or creative parent looking to make crowd-pleasing and personalized treats” and has inspired readers around the world to follow in Siskin’s footsteps. “Some people even do them better than I do!” the food artist says.
Siskin has spent much of her time since the release of “Treat Yourself!” promoting the book, but she feels she’s now ready to focus all her attention on content creation and orders. “I’ve definitely gotten a lot bolder in what I make,” she notes, with recent treats including a cheeseboard with five different selections, four slices of avocado toast with toppings wide-ranging enough to appease even the pickiest millennial, and Siskin’s favorite, a portrait of Dolly Parton.
Although animals, emojis and characters like the Minions and Barney have long been on the Misterkrisp menu, Siskin has always been reluctant to create Rice Krispies portraits of actual people. “But I hated saying no to people,” she says with a laugh. “I really think that by practicing, I’ve been able to obliterate my fear of portraiture.”
Obliterate it she has. A recent post of her Drake Rice Krispies portrait garnered comments like “Best Krisp yet!” and “This is everything,” while Siskin’s sweet take on everyone’s favorite Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, led one follower to write, “You are ALMOST as inspirational as RBG.”
A krisp future
In 2019, Siskin says, “I’m really trying to grow my platform.” A few months ago, she began doing taste tests on her Instagram stories, making use of the app’s polling feature, and will continue adding to the series. The artist is also considering doing something on IGTV, Instagram’s video app, or YouTube but isn’t totally set on the idea just yet. “Instagram is currency at this point,” she adds, encouraging fans to keep an eye on the space for exciting new creations, including something for the upcoming Super Bowl.
While Siskin continues to run Misterkrisp all on her own from her kitchen, she acknowledges that at some point, she might have to expand to a larger space. The one thing she won’t do, though, is open up a storefront. “I’ve lived in New York for a long time, and I’ve just seen way too many cool places come and go over the years,” she says. “We live in a world where everyone is trying to grow and expand, but I really love how small and homemade my business is.”
Misterkrisp accepts orders from anywhere in New York City and requests that you make an inquiry as far ahead of the desired completion date as possible.