Browned Butter Rice Krispie Treats

You know how I’ve been organizing? Well, I had half a bag of these gigundo marshmallows leftover from Tai’s birthday weekend: seriously, these things were huge, too big for roasting over a fire, really, as the middle did not get melty even when you burned the crap out of the outside (my preferred marshmallow ‘technique’ – set ’em fire, blow ’em out, enjoy). And since my organizing fever tackled the Dread Food Cabinet (no, not “dreaded;” “dread” as in Dread Pirate Roberts), and half a bag of too-giant-for-roasting, corn-syrup-laden, decidedly-not-local marshmallows simply did not fit in the grand scheme of the newly-christened Beautiful Food Cabinet (post full of cabinet organizing love to follow!), the marshmallows simply had to go.

How to use up 12 ounces of too-giant-for-roasting, far-too-big-to-fit-in-a-mug-of-cocoa marshmallows? Rice Krispie treats of course! But since I am me, I couldn’t just make regular old Rice Krispie treats; no, I searched around and found this slightly-fancified version over at Smitten Kitchen. Then, because this is the way my mind works, I thought about how I could make this recipe a little healthier, a little more homemade, a little more local. How about homemade, cultured butter? Check. Homemade marshmallows? Well, that would be nice, but it would defeat the purpose of using up the gigundo bag of marshmallows (which were, until now, residing on my kitchen counter so as not to sully the contents of the Beautiful Food Cabinet). Organic, whole grain, puffed rice cereal (aka Faux Krispies)? I thought about it, but honestly, it seemed a bit beside the point: I mean, the main ingredient is marshmallows; the first ingredient in marshmallows is corn syrup.  I’m not really going to make these “whole food” am I? So I sent Tai out for a box of Rice Krispies (“Rice Krispie Rice Krispies?” he asked. Does anyone else find it somewhat nefarious that high fructose corn syrup, listed as the fifth ingredient on the Rice Krispies box, is not listed at all on the on-line ingredients? Hmmm. Subsequently I thought “How would one make Rice Krispies? And, lo and behold, the Interwebs have my answer: homemade puffed rice cereal. I sense an experiment in my future.).

Do you know, I had never made Rice Krispie treats before? I just assumed that I must have made them back in high school, when people make such things; but no, when I was jabbing at my gigundo marshmallows with a wooden spoon, willing them to break up and melt already, and wondering if this much butter was really going to incoporate itself into this mass of gelatinous marshmallow goo, I realized that I had never done this before. But, lo and behold, the marshmallows they did melt, the butter it did incorporate, the mixture it did get squished into a cake pan, and the treats they did get eaten. Far, far too quickly.

To recap: These are really easy to make. They eliminate the cluttery bag of gigundo marshamallows from your (beautifully organized) cupboard. They are addictively delicious. Bathing suit season is months and months away. You’re welcome.

Taken almost directly from Salted Brown Butter Crispy Treats by Deb at Smitten Kitchen (with thanks to Kate, whose call for marshmallow recipes reminded me that I had made these a while back but had never posted the recipe).


Salted Butter Rice Krispie Treats


  • 4 oz unsalted butter (use the good stuff; I used homemade cultured butter)
  • 10 oz marshmallows
  • 6 cups (about 6 oz) Rice Krispies
  • heaping 1/4 tsp coarse sea salt (I used fleur de sel)


  1. Coat an 8-inch square cake pan (with at least 2-inch high sides) with baking spray or butter. Prepare a square of waxed paper, big enough to cover the top of the pan, with butter or oil spray.
  2. Melt the butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over low to medium-low heat. Continue to cook the butter, lowering the heat if it threatens to burn, until foam subsides, milk solids fall to the bottom of the pan, and the butter takes on nutty aroma and turns a deep, golden brown (this usually takes me about 20 – 25 minutes; I was impatient and stopped a little too soon).
  3. Add the marshmallows; stir over lowest heat, breaking up marshmallows and stirring until they are fully melted (turn off the heat if they begin to stick). Turn off heat, add the salt and the Rice Krispies, and stir well to coat cereal evenly with marshmallow.  Transfer to the prepared cake pan; press into the pan with the coated wax paper. Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares.

Yields 16 2-inch treats.


  1. I think because I didn’t quite brown the butter enough (and Salted Lightly-Tanned Butter Rice Krispie Treats doesn’t have quite the same ring, no?), I felt like these needed just a little.. something. But I tried one with peanut butter and melted chocolate on top, then another one with just melted chocolate, and really: they were far better plain. Don’t mess with ’em.


Um… 4 hours at room temperature? I’m trying to convince myself that we inhaled this batch because they wouldn’t last. I have no idea how long they would last in a household with any restraint.


That shoulder season between needing your marshmallows for grilling outdoors and post-sledding hot cocoa.


  1. Your ‘Season’ section is the best. I mean really, what is the good life without a few Rice Krispies treats thrown in there? Thanks for the nods 🙂

    Making these for our next food swap!

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