This post is a year in the making. Yep. Sorry it took me so long, Steph.
Steph, for those of you wondering – is one of my many cousins. She’s a sweetheart – lots of fun to be around and always quick with a story or a laugh. Love her. Another thing about Stephanie is that she’s a teeny, peanutty thing – but according to her, she can really put these crispy treats away.
I’m not sure I believe her, but she said last time I made these that she had five or six…in one day.
Basically, whenever I ask what I can bring to family gatherings – this is Steph’s request. So while most people were making pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving dessert, I was elbows deep in melted marshmallows and rice cereal. Not that I’m complaining – there are worse fates.
Here’s that cereal I was talking about – and let me tell ya – it’s the real deal. Normally, I’m a store brand babe, but after going to two different supermarkets on the coldest/windiest day of the season (so far) – without a generic box in sight, I buckled.
Nothing but the best for you, Steph!
And here are the store brand marshmallows…that cancel the fancy cereal right out. Womp, womp.
So, up until this point, we’d have perfectly average crispy treats, which aren’t really even worth writing about. These though – as the title suggests – have more going on than meets the eye. Here, we have salt. You’ll only add a little bit, but that’s all you need.
Salty and sweet for life…for president, perhaps?
Just when I think my sweet tooth has subsided, someone throws some salt in dessert and I’m done.
All right, on to secret weapon numero dos. Brown butter…because regular melted butter isn’t scrumptious enough on its own. Right?
Wrong. Regular melted butter is fantastic…among some of the best things in life, in fact. But…while regular butter is a beautiful thing…brown butter is supermodel material. #truestory
I wish I didn’t have to ruin the surprise for you, but I gotta sell these bad boys a bit. The brown butter takes the flavor to a place reminiscent of warm caramel. Yes, I just likened a flavor to a place one could go visit – and no, that’s not possible in the real world – but a girl can dream.
Eric and I haven’t planned our honeymoon yet, but if “Warm Caramel” were a real place, it would be in the running.
The only thing better than the taste of these treats is the fact that they’re so simple to put together. After your butter is melted and browned, all you’ll need to do is turn the heat off and stir in your marshmallows and salt.
Go ahead, keep going…we’re not quite there yet.
Ahhh…that’s more like it! Now that everything’s smooth and creamy, get ready to work in the cereal, which requires a little elbow grease…and patience. Just keep folding on in, making sure you’re getting your spoon all the way down to the bottom of the pot, so you can incorporate all the buttery marshmallow mixture.
Once you’ve got everything good and gooey, pour the coated cereal into a pan that’s been basically hosed down with cooking spray. I mean, sprayed like the life an inanimate object doesn’t have depends on it.
Spray until you think you can’t spray anymore…than add in one more spritz for good measure.
Then, unless you really want to get up close and personal with your crispy treats – I suggest you give the same nonstick spray treatment to a piece of wax paper and use that to press everything into the pan. At this stage in the game, they’d be better named “sticky” treats than crispy. Coming from a girl that’s learned the hard way, trust me when I say taking the extra step here is actually a shortcut.
Salted Brown Butter Crispy Treats
from Smitten Kitchen
Yield: 16 2-inch squares or 32 1- x 2-inch small bars
Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
Cook Time: None
1 10-ounce bag marshmallows
Heaping 1/4 teaspoon salt
6 cups Rice Krispies cereal (about half a 12-ounce box)
Coat an 8-inch square cake pan with 2-inch sides with nonstick spray.
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. Don’t take your eyes off the pot as while you may be impatient for it to start browning, the period between the time the butter begins to take on color and the point where it burns is often less than a minute.
As soon as the butter takes on a nutty color, turn the heat off and stir in the marshmallows, using a large serving spoon you’ve also coated with nonstick spray. 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 it firmly and evenly into the edges and corners, though a silicon spatula works almost as well.
Let cool, cut into squares and get ready to make new friends.
I wonder when Stephanie will get sick of these. I mean, I make a lot of different things. I should be happy she likes these as much as she does though. She could hardly wait to get her hands on ‘em and take a big bite!
Seriously, Steph?! I’ve had mosquito bites bigger than that. Now you know why I don’t believe her.