I’ve always said that sometimes the most simple flavors are my favorites. Rice Krispie Treats are the perfect example: rice cereal, butter, and marshmallows are the perfect combination. And they’re one of my favorite treats.
So the other day Heather called and said, “Hey! What do you think about making Rice Krispie Treats with brown butter?” Now, y’all, I’m a big fan of brown butter. Like, HUGE fan. So it was an immediate “yes” from me!
But it didn’t take long before a simple Google search showed us we weren’t the first ones to come up with the idea – not even by a long shot. But after making them (and absolutely devouring them) I knew that it didn’t matter who came up with the fantastic idea of combining Rice Krispie Treats and brown butter. I knew I had to share it. Cause, y’all, these things are amazing. There’s something about how the flavor of the brown butter elevates the simple Rice Krispie Treat to something magical.
That said, my initial batches (plural for the sake of testing, of course!) weren’t as gooey and marshmallowy as I wanted them to be. So what did ol’ Stacey do? He added more marshmallow, of course!
This time in the form of marshmallow creme! The gooey marshmallow fluff was the perfect thing to keep the treats moist and gooey. And a little extra marshmallow never hurt anyone! Does this recipe have two bags of marshmallows, nearly a cup of butter, AND a jar marshmallow creme? Dang straight it does. But no one said you have to eat them all!
So what is brown butter?
Well, butter isn’t just all fat like, say, vegetable oil is. Butter is made up of fat, water, and some leftover milk solids. When you cook butter long enough, the water cooks out, the flavor intensifies, and the milk solids brown and get this super delicious nutty flavor that makes it even tastier. By itself, it’s a great sauce for things like fish or veggies, but browning butter is also a great way to add more flavor to things like chocolate chip cookies, cakes, and in this case, Rice Krispie Treats.
When browning butter, it’s important to keep a few things in mind…
Start with a light colored pan. I just use my standard stainless steel cookware. Dark or coated cookware will keep you from being able to see when the milk solids in the butter have browned.
The butter will foam up as it cooks. That’s totally normal.
Stir. Stir. Stir. As the milk solids brown, they may also stick to the bottom of the pot. That will increase the chances that they might also burn. Once burned, butter has a super bitter flavor, so we want to make sure that doesn’t happen. If it does happen, you’ll have to throw it out and start over.
With this recipe, there’s a lot of stirring, but that’s the most difficult part. Keep in mind that when adding the marshmallow, it might seem that the butter and the marshmallow will never combine, but it will, just keep stirring. Promise.
Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats
- ¾ cup unsalted butter (1 ½ sticks)
- 2 (10-ounce) bags mini marshmallows
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 (7-ounce) jar marshmallow creme
- 1 (12-ounce) box Rice Krispies Cereal
- Lightly spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set it aside. Pour the cereal into a very large bowl and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, continue cooking at a low boil, stirring frequently, scraping the bottom of the pan. The butter will foam up, but continue to cook until the milk solids in the butter start to brown and the butter begins to smell nutty - 3 to 5 minutes. Watch carefully as the milk solids can burn easily and become bitter.
- Add the marshmallows and stir to melt - reducing the heat if necessary. You may need to add the marshmallows in increments depending on the size of your pan. Add the salt and marshmallow creme and stir to combine. If you have trouble getting the butter and marshmallow to combine, just keep stirring.
- Remove the marshmallow mixture from the heat and pour over the cereal. Use a rubber or silicone spatula to stir the mixture to get the cereal covered. Pour the mixture into the prepared dish and lightly press flat with clean spatula. If you have trouble with this step, you can spray the spatula or your hands with a little nonstick spray to make it easier. Just don't press too firmly or your treats will be dense. Allow to cool for at least 1 hour before slicing and serving. Store in a sealed container.