Rice krispie treats are one of my all-time favorite desserts.
I have such fond memories making these treats as a child with my family. My arms would ache from stirring the huge mass of melty marshmallow. The only known remedy was a spoonful of the warm crispy and chewy dessert. I often had trouble waiting for the treats to cool and the majority of the mixture was eaten straight out of the pot with our biggest wooden spoon. To this day, I still get giddy at the sight of homemade rice krispie treats. I’m not sure what makes them so perfect. It must be some law of nature. Or something.
I recently found a recipe for a twist on the old classic. Rice krispie treats with – brace yourself – browned butter and VANILLA BEANS. As you may know (or have guessed from the shouty capitals), I love vanilla beans. The tiny specks of black seeds add so much to a recipe I can’t even belive it. I would say vanilla beans are one of my favorite ingredients.
Adding to the list of favorite ingredients – browned butter. I’ve heard the hype and was always too lazy to try it. Honestly, how much flavor could be added by cooking the butter a few extra minutes, I thought. I was wrong. So very wrong. The browned butter added an entirely new dimension to the treats. I can only describe this flavor as deep and nutty. And absolutely amazing.
My mom loves these treats just as much as I do. As she tasted the first bite of this new creation, I was nervous about her take on this divergence from the classic. She said, and I quote, “these are the best rice krispie treats I have ever tasted.” Get out of town! I needed no other affirmation about these treats from anyone. I had all I ever needed.
As my mom and I sat at the counter cleaning all the remaining warm gooey marshmallow and cereal mixture out of our biggest pot, I was transported back to my childhood. I had to stop myself when I was literally sucking the spoon. Can’t say I remember doing that as a child…
Browned Butter and Vanilla Bean Rice Krispie Treats
Source: Tracey’s Culinary Adventures
3/4 cup unsalted butter (1.5 sticks)
seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
15 oz regular-sized marshmallows (I used 1.5 10 oz bags)
pinch of salt
1/2 cup mini marshmallows (or a few regular sized marshmallows cut into bite-sized pieces)
6-7 cups rice krispie cereal
1. Spray a 13×9 dish with nonstick spray. Set aside.
2. In the biggest pot you have, add the butter and vanilla beans. Over low heat, cook until the butter is brown and foamy and you can smell a nutty fragrance. This took about 10 minutes for me. Keep a very close eye on the pot because it is easy for this to burn. Instead of stirring the butter, simply swirl the pot occassionally.
3. Add the vanilla extract, the 15 oz of regular marshmallows, and the salt. Stir constantly over the low heat until the marshmallows are completely melted.
4. Take off of heat and add the cereal. You can adjust the amount of cereal depending on your deisred consistency. Finally, add the mini marshmallows or marshmallow pieces and incorporate fully. The mixture will be very sticky.
5. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Using wax paper, press the mixture firmly into the pan. Allow to cool for at least an hour. Cut into cubes and store in an airtight container. Enjoy!