Toasted Marshmallow Brown Butter Rice Krispies Treats
Toasted marshmallow brown butter Rice Krispies Treats are perfectly ooey-gooey and delicious! I toast the marshmallows under the broiler, and roast the cereal to give them a delicious, deep caramel flavor!
Roast and toasty!
That’s how I like my homemade Rice Krispies Treats. It’s almost been a decade since I started my blog, and I can’t believe I haven’t shared a recipe for these marshmallow cereal squares yet. So today, I’m bringing you the classic 4-ingredient dessert recipe. A few tricks give these very standard bars a much more elevated flavor.
First, we’ll toast the cereal – it deepens the rice flavor and gives them a nutty taste. Then, we’ll broil the marshmallows so they are toasty with just a hint of char to give them depth. And then, we’ll brown the butter so that it gets all nutty and golden. Just when you thought I was done, I like to sprinkle them with just a hint of flaked sea salt to really elevate the flavors until they dance on your tongue! And by the time you’re done, you won’t believe they’re made with the same 4 ingredients you’ve always made them with.
There’s no doubt that Rice Krispies Treats are delicious as is, but I like to think these simple changes really kick the flavor up to a whole new level!
What do you need to make brown butter Rice Krispies Treats?
- Rice Krispies: For this recipe, I suggest using this specific brand. I had the best results with it. If you decide to use a store brand or a generic cereal brand, I find that the baking time may not be accurate. For this recipe, use Rice Krispies!
- Marshmallows: you’ll need a 10-ounce bag of marshmallows for this recipe. You can use the large or mini variety. But keep in mind that since we’re broiling the marshmallows, the mini ones will cook much faster than the larger ones. Timings provided work best for normal-sized marshmallows. Also, this recipe has been tested with Kosher marshmallows, and besides taking slightly longer for the marshmallows to melt into the brown butter, it works great!
- Butter: As with most of my recipes, I’ve used salted butter for these treats too. I find that the salted butter helps cut down on some of the sweetness from the marshmallows. However, if you usually prefer Rice Krispies Treats with the regular amount of sugar, feel free to use unsalted butter here!
- Vanilla extract: Just a dash helps bring out that delicious vanilla flavor that the marshmallows already have.
- Flaked sea salt: I add flaked sea salt to make the flavors pop better on your tongue. However, it is optional! Feel free to leave them out if you’re making these for a younger crowd or like sweeter desserts.
How to make the best brown butter Rice Krispies Treats:
- Toast the cereal. Start by preheating the oven and lining two baking sheets with foil. You can also use parchment paper if you’d like but be sure that your parchment paper is safe at 500ºF – most are not! Then, spread the cereal out on one baking sheet and place the baking sheet in the oven. YOu’ll toast the cereal for 3-5 minutes, keeping a close eye and stirring it frequently so that it toasts but doesn’t burn. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the cereal to cool.
- Broil the marshmallows. Line the marshmallows out on the second baking sheet and set the oven to the broil setting. Ensure the rack is in the center of the oven so that the marshmallows don’t brown too quickly. Then, place the baking sheet in the oven and allow the marshmallows to brown. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet while you brown the butter.
- Brown the butter. Add the butter to a large dutch oven or stainless steel pot. Heat the butter over medium heat and allow it to melt. When melted, keep a close eye on it and allow it to brown. You want to stir it frequently to keep it from browning too quickly. This will take a good 5-7 minutes, so be patient and don’t walk away! Then, lower the heat to the lowest setting, add the marshmallows, and stir and cook until the marshmallows melt into the butter. Stir in the vanilla. Add the toasted cereal and stir to combine using a rubber spatula. Continue to stir until the cereal is evenly coated in the melted marshmallows.
- Make bars. Then, working quickly, dump the cereal mixture into the prepared square dish. You want to use a glass or stainless steel measuring cup to help tightly pack the Rice Krispies into the baking dish so that the bars aren’t crumbly. Sprinkle with flaked sea salt, if desired. Then, let the bars cool for at least 1-2 hours before slicing and eating.
FAQs about homemade Rice Krispies:
- Any tips for browning the butter easily? Slice the butter before adding it to the pot to melt. Then, swirl the pan or stir using a rubber spatula so that the butter browns evenly.
- How can you tell the butter is done browning? Let your nose be your guide. Once you smell the nutty aroma, you can add the marshmallows into the pot. At that point, you want to move quickly so that the butter doesn’t brown too much further.
- What size baking dish works best for this? Both an 8×8 and a 9×9 square glass, ceramic, or metal baking dish will work. An 8×8 pan will produce slightly thicker bars, whereas a 9×9 pan will produce slightly thinner bars.
- How do you flatten the treats into the dish without making a mess? Spray the bottom of a glass or stainless steel measuring cup with cooking spray and then use that to flatten out the cereal and marshmallow mixture. That should keep it from sticking!
If you like this recipe, you might also like:
- Easy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
- Pucker-up Creamy Lemon Squares
- Salted Fudge Brownies
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Oat Bars
- Shortbread Twix Cookies
- Saltine Toffee Bark
- Apple Crumble Bars
- 5 ½ cups Rice Krispies cereal
- 1 (10-ounce bag) large marshmallows
- ½ cup (1 stick) salted butter, sliced into 8 pieces
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Flaked sea salt, for topping (optional)
- TOAST AND BROIL: Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 450ºF. Line two baking sheets with foil. Pop the Rice Krispies on one baking sheet and spray the other foil-lined baking sheet with cooking spray. Place the marshmallows in a single layer on the baking sheet with cooking spray. Place the Rice Krispies in the oven when the oven has preheated and bake the cereal for 3-5 minutes, stirring every 45-60 seconds so that they don’t burn. They're done when they're a deeper golden and smell toasted. While the cereal is roasting, spray a square (8x8 or 9x9) baking dish with cooking spray; set aside for now. Remove the Rice Krispies from the oven and allow them to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Flip the oven to the broil setting. Place the baking tray with marshmallows in the oven (on the same center rack, do not move the rack up) for 30-60 seconds or until golden brown and toasted on top. Keep a close eye on them; they go from toasty to burnt very quickly! Remove the marshmallows from the oven and let cool while you prepare the brown butter.
- BROWN BUTTER: Place the butter in a large steel pot (or light bottomed cast iron) and allow it to melt over medium heat. Once the butter melts, you’ll notice is starts to foam. Continue stirring and cooking the butter for 5-7 minutes or until it turns golden brown. DO NOT WALK WAY and keep stirring. It will smell all nutty and toasty when done. Then lower the heat to the lowest setting, add the marshmallows and continue cooking until the marshmallows melt down, stirring frequently with a rubber spatula. Season with the vanilla extract. Stir to combine. Then add the toasted Rice Krispies to the pan. With the heat on the lowest setting, continue to stir until all the Rice Krispies are evenly coated in the marshmallow mixture.
- TREATS: Working quickly at this point, dump the prepared treats into the baking dish. Spray the back of a glass or steel measuring cup with cooking spray and use this to gently but firmly press the Rice Krispies down into an even, flat layer that molds tightly inside the baking dish. Sprinkle with flaked sea salt, if desired. Then, let cool completely until set. Using the parchment overhang, grab the parchment paper, lift out, and cut into squares. Store any leftovers in an airtight container.
- Mini marshmallows can also be used for this recipe but they will roast much, much faster than the time listed.