It’s a sad but true fact: until recently, I’d never made Rice Krispies treats. Crazy, right? They’re so easy, and so good. They’re always the first item I head for at bake sales. Why? Because it’s almost impossible to mess them up, so they’re always consistent, and always full of crunchy, chewy goodness. Except if the person holding the bake sale serves you the Rice Krispies treat in a napkin, and therefore you end up eating little bits of flimsy paper that adhere to the marshmallow (this happened to me, sadly)…then they’re not so good. But otherwise, I love them.
When my friend Emily came out to visit in the spring, we decided that her California trip wouldn’t be complete without making something full of sugar and butter. This recipe, which I found on Smitten Kitchen, fit the bill, so we dove into the realm of bake sales feet first. I say feet first because this recipe involves browning butter, which I’m always nervous about. Burned butter is a terrible, terrible thing, and since we only had one box of Rice Krispies, I didn’t want to mess this up. But like I said before, it’s almost impossible to mess these things up, and as expected, they were easier than pie.
I was in charge of worrying about the browned butter, and Emily, for her part, stirred and stirred like crazy. Emily, can I hire you to come cook with me? Please? You are the world’s best stirrer.
These came out like traditional treats, but with a toasty, rich flavor from the browned butter, and a hint of salt to balance the sweetness. The only thing I would do differently next time I make this recipe is sprinkle a bit of sea salt on top of the treats while they’re cooling. I love slightly salty desserts, and I could use a bit more in these, but maybe that’s just me.
Salted Brown Butter Rice Krispies Treats
from Smitten Kitchen
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus extra for the pan
1 10-ounce bag marshmallows
Heaping 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt, plus extra for sprinkling
6 cups Rice Krispies cereal (about half a 12-ounce box)
Butter an 8-inch square cake pan with 2-inch sides.
In a large pot, melt butter over medium-low heat. It will melt, then foam, then turn clear golden and finally start to turn brown and smell nutty. Stir frequently, scraping up any bits from the bottom as you do. As soon as the butter takes on a nutty color, turn the heat off and stir in the marshmallows. The residual heat from the melted butter should be enough to melt them, but if it is not, turn it back on low until the marshmallows are smooth.
Remove the pot from the stove and stir in the salt and cereal together. Quickly spread into prepared pan. I liked to use a piece of waxed or parchment paper that I’ve sprayed with oil to Press mixture firmly and evenly into the edges and corners with a silicon spatula or a piece of waxed or parchment paper.
Let cool, cut into squares and enjoy! Makes 16 2-inch square bars.