brown butter rice krispies treats

i’m still getting used to this house. i hung up a frame of my most cheerful print, swept my childhood desk of years of dust, and – perhaps most crucial of all – unpacked my baking essentials and placed them neatly in a cleared-out corner of the kitchen cupboard. but i miss my old kitchen, humble as it was. with years of use, everything i needed had settled into its best place, and so my sweet tooth always had a quick fix. a few minutes rustling about in the cabinets and pretty soon some form of batter or dough would be making its way into the oven. here, things seem to take a little more effort. so i needed something easy to draw me back into the kitchen this past weekend…


these were easy. too easy. i stood by the stove for a few moments and then suddenly found myself chewing on a gooey, caramel-scented mass of marshmallows and crackly cereal. it tasted just like the ones i ate as a kid (not often enough, i always thought), but with a toasty richness you wouldn’t get with the recipe off the side of the box, much less out of those shiny, bright blue prepackaged blocks they sell at the store. the brown butter is the hero here, and it only asks for a few extra minutes on the stove and a watchful eye so it doesn’t burn. it’s a square deal, i’d say.

be careful, though; these have a tendency to disappear when left unattended. just ask my brother. (hmph.)


Brown Butter Rice Krispies Treats
a sexy twist on the original
adapted from smitten kitchen

Makes 12-32 servings, depending on your self-control

6 cups Rice Krispies cereal (about half a 12-ounce box)
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus extra for the pan
10.5-ounce bag mini marshmallows (mini because they melt faster)

  1. Butter (or coat with non-stick spray) a 13x9x2-inch pan.
  2. Mix cereal and salt together in a large bowl.
  3. In a large pot (one that is shiny metal or otherwise light in color), 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. Watch the pot constantly, since the butter can burn quickly.
  4. As soon as the butter takes on a nutty color, turn the heat off. {When I started noticing brown flecks gathering at the bottom of the pan, I counted five seconds or so and then took the pot off the heat.} Dump in the marshmallows and stir until smooth. The residual heat from the melted butter should be enough to melt them, but if it is not, turn the flame back on low and keep stirring.
  5. Remove the pot from the stove and stir in the salt and cereal.  Stir until the cereal is well coated. Quickly transfer the mixture into prepared pan, using a greased piece of waxed or parchment paper – or pair of hands – to gently press the mixture in.  Cool.  Cut into squares of appropriate (or desired) size.
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