Brown Butter Rice Crispy Treats

 Gooey marshmallows, a pinch of salt, a splash of vanilla, crispy rice cereal, and finished off with toasty, caramelized, brown butter. There is no superior rice crispy treat. 

Presenting... the King of all Rice Crispy Treats... 

The Browned Butter Rice Crispy Treat

The childhood staple, after school snack, pool treat, summertime & roadtrip dessert, and what I ate for breakfast more mornings than I would like to admit (I mean, it's close to eating a bowl of Lucky Charms) has only been made better by browning the butter before adding the marshmallows. 

This quick and very easy step adds so much depth, flavor, and deliciousness to your rice crispy treat that you'll never go back to making them the old, boring way. Other than the simple step of delicious toasty brown butter, this nostalgic and forever delicious treat still rocks the world with gooey marshmallows, a splash of vanilla, pinch of salt, and crunchy rice crispy cereal. It's one of the easiest desserts ever & requires no oven. So, no need to heat up your kitchen this summer. 

I grew up eating rice crispy treats all the time. They were (and still are) a staple in my family, and they were especially a staple for vacations, roadtrips, and family functions. For pretty much every vacation, I can recall there being a container of rice crispy treats made by my mom alongside traveling with us. 

Sometimes they had sprinkles, sometimes they had a white chocolate drizzle, sometimes they were half Fruity Pebbles (or Cocoa Pebbles) cereal & half rice cereal, and sometimes they had Lucky Charms, but more often than not, they were pretty basic. And, there is nothing wrong with that. 

There is nothing wrong with a classic, and no exceptions needed for these beauties. 

Growing up, we were pretty frugal with our spending and never bought a ton of prepackaged foods. So, I rarely had access to the Kellogg's prepackaged Rice Krispie Treat bars, unless I was at a friends house or birthday party. And, they were always so good & so amazingly buttery smelling ... but, every time I ate one, I was always reminded that my mom's homemade ones were just better! Not to mention, lightyears cheaper to make than to purchase.

So, cheers to you, Mom! For introducing me to only the best and finest of rice crispy treats, and for letting me eat them for breakfast every now and then. Trust me, it was not a weekly thing. It was only on a ... "there is nothing in this entire world I can think of that I'd like to eat for breakfast. Can I please just have a rice crispy treat?" kind of morning. I may have been a slightly dramatic kid at times. Well, who am I kidding. Not all of that drama has left me.

I believe that I have well argued my long, ongoing love and affection for rice crispy treats. We go way back, but THESE. These Brown Butter ones were only introduced to me about 2 years ago, and I have never looked at them the same, since. They are on a whole different level, and even my rice-crispy-loving-self will never go back to the "plain-Jane" version. 

What is Brown Butter?

Brown butter, sometimes called "browned butter," is just regular butter that is melted in a sauce pan and slowly cooked until the milk solids begin to caramelize and toast, bringing out nutty, bold, and delicious flavors from the butter without adding anything to it.

It truly is a one ingredient wonder, and it can be used for so many things. It adds so much flavor to even the simplest of things and can transform a dish from basic to mind-blowing.

It is especially popular in French cuisine, and in French it is "beurre noisette." It is used a lot in savory dishes along with being cooled, whipped, and spread on a fresh & crusty baguette. Yum, and YUM!

The step of browning butter only takes about 3-5 minutes, typically. Melting the butter, allowing the butter to foam, bubble, and brown, caramelizing the milk solids. Your kitchen is bound to smell delicious.

If you need additional instruction on how to brown butter, check out Sally's post here. 

Things You'll Need for Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats:

- Unsalted Butter: I know it seems a bit crazy to use unsalted butter, only to add salt right back in. But, I like being able to control how much salt goes into each recipe. 

Each butter company uses a slightly different amount of salt in their butter, so it makes it really hard to make a consistent end product for everyone - no matter where you live and what kind of butter you are using. I’ve found this to be the easiest way. 

That being said, if you typically only buy salted butter - that is very okay! Just use salted butter as normal, and add an extra pinch of salt.

- Salt

- Mini Marshmallows: You can use the standard size, but I find that the mini marshmallows melt a bit easier & more evenly.

Pro tip: make sure that your marshmallows aren't too old. If they have been in your pantry for awhile and are old and dry, you'll really struggle to get them to melt. I may speak from experience. (*cough cough*

- Vanilla

- Rice Cereal: You can use any kind and any brand.

I love using brown rice crispy cereal if I can find it. Usually it’s found at more health-food stores like Whole Foods, Sprouts, etc. It’s also on Amazon. I love it, and the texture it has. Plus, the brown rice crisps have a bit more nutrition & fiber.

How to Make Brown Butter Rice Cereal Treats:

1. Spray an 8 x 8 pan with cooking spray. Set aside. (Additionally, you can also line the pan with parchment paper, but I do not usually have issues with them sticking, as long as I sprayed the pan well.)

2.  In a large pot over medium-low heat, combine the butter and salt. Heat until fully melted and starting to bubble.

3. Brown the butter: Let the butter bubble for about 3-5 minutes, or until it starts to develop a deeper golden color and starts to smell toasted. That’s how you know it’s ready. If there are little brown bits in your butter, that's the goal. It is milk protein from the butter that is caramelizing.. and that’s nothing but flavor.

4.  Add the marshmallows and vanilla and stir with a rubber spatula until all the marshmallows have melted. This might take a minute or two. Make sure that your mixture is homogenous and fully combined.

5. Add the rice cereal and stir carefully to fully coat the cereal in the marshmallow mixture, being cautious not to smash all the cereal in the process.

6. Transfer the mixture into your greased pan, and using a rubber spatula coated in cooking spray, press the marshmallow cereal mixture into an even layer.

7. Allow to cool for 1-2 hours before slicing into 9-12 rice crispy treats, or if you're in a hurry - you can place the pan in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes to finish setting. Remove from the fridge, slice, and enjoy!

Looking for other sweet treats? Look no further.

- Check out these delicious Coffee Cake Cookies that can be made gluten free, or regular. They are perfectly spiced, tender, buttery, and highly addictive. 

- Feeling fruity? This Spiced Apple Crisp is fantastic at any time of the year. It's so delectable that there's no need to wait until fall. 

- Wanting something savory? These Ham and Cheese muffins are the perfect blend of herbs, cheese, and smoky ham. All you need is one bowl and a handful of ingredients to whip these together. That's all. 

made the recipe?

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