Best ever rice krispies treats? I’ve gotcha.
You heard me.
I recently signed up for a bake sale at Noah’s school, but when I got to the site the only item that was unclaimed was (you guessed it) rice krispies treats.
As you know, I’m really not a fan – and though I’ve tweaked the recipe here – and even overhauled it completely – I knew I had to keep pretty close to the original for the school sale (did NOT want to be “that mom”).
But I ALSO knew that I couldn’t just make that back-of-the-box recipe. I just couldn’t.
So I took the opportunity (again!) to see how I could make some simple changes that would not alter the look or taste too drastically, yet improve it from the original.
The first thing I did was look at the upgrades I’d already made – that is, doubling and browning the butter, and adding sea salt to the mix.
Wouldn’t change a thing there.
But what I COULD improve on were toastiness (is that a word? I’m going with yes) and flavor.
Let’s start with toastiness – because what isn’t improved by toasting/browning/torching? We’ve already improved the butter by browning it; why not the other ingredients?
I started by toasting the cereal in the large saucepan I would be using for the rest of the recipe (these are rice krispies treats, people – I was not dirtying an additional pan to make them). This took about 7 minutes. And I’ll admit, it smelled really good. I’d always read about the benefits of toasting uncooked rice and pasta; why not cereal?
As for the marshmallows, I knew I wanted to torch them. I have a small kitchen torch, but since most people don’t I wanted to figure out how to get the same results with my oven. I spread the marshmallows in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet (for easy transfer and clean-up) and broiled them. Unfortunately I put the pan too close to the top of the oven and the marshmallows went from pale brown to black in a matter of seconds.
For the next batch I still set the oven to broil but put the pan in the middle of the oven – and watched closely.
I also doubled the marshmallows, and I’ll never go back – waaaaaaay better.
Now for the flavor.
While the sea salt in the recipe was nice, I knew we could improve things. So I added 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla and then topped the bars off with some flaky sea salt.
Now these were some rice krispies treats that I could proudly stand behind. Yes, they were a tiny bit more work, but resulted in so much more deliciousness.
Give ’em a try!
9 cups Rice Krispies cereal
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
heaping 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
(2) 10-ounce bags marshmallows
flaky sea salt
Pre-heat the oven to broil; line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Grease a 9″ x 13″ baking pan or line with parchment paper.
In a large pot, toast the cereal over medium heat, stirring constantly till fragrant and lightly toasted (about 7 minutes). Transfer to a large bowl or a piece of waxed paper.
In the same pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Once it turns clear and golden, watch carefully and begin stirring – be sure to scrape up any bits that form at the bottom of the pan. As soon as the butter turns brown and smells nutty remove it from the heat. Stir in the sea salt and vanilla.
While the butter is melting, spread the marshmallows onto your prepared baking sheet. Place in the middle of the oven and broil till the tops are golden brown, watching carefully as they will burn quickly.
Scrape the marshmallows into the pot and stir continuously until melted and smooth (you can put the pot back over a low heat if needed).
Add the cereal and stir until it’s well coated – immediately pour into your prepared pan. Use a greased spatula to press the mixture evenly into the sides and corners. Top with some flaky sea salt and let cool; cut into squares to serve.
This delicious recipe brought to you by Sheri Silver
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