real life test kitchen: caramelized brown butter rice crisp treats

Brown butter is, in my humble opinion, one of the greatest-tasting things on the planet. The deliciousness originates from the browning of milk solids that separate from the fat when butter is melted, lending a toasty, nutty, butterscotch-like complexity to whatever you serve it with, sweet or savory. So when I saw this New York Times recipe for caramelized brown butter rice crisp treats, I instantly bookmarked it, hoping to make them soon — and then promptly forgot all about it. At 11 p.m. last Friday, I realized that I needed to bring a dessert to an event at 7 a.m. the next day. I was so glad to not only have this recipe waiting in my arsenal, but also, serendipitously, the ingredients on hand. Shazam! In a mere 15 minutes, I had an impressive, portable dessert that turns the old fashioned Rice Krispy Treats up to 11. I made a couple of modifications to the original recipe, using only 1/2 the butter and subbing out organic puffed brown rice cereal for the Rice Krispies and was elated with the results: super-crunchy, brown buttery, and just enough sugar and salt to make them crazy addictive. — Megan B. Click for the recipe!

Caramelized Brown Butter Rice Crisp Treats
adapted from the New York Times
Makes at least 30 squares

4 oz. butter, salted
10.5 oz. bag of marshmallows
9 1/2 cups of puffed brown rice cereal (I used Nature’s Path) or Rice Krispies cereal
1/8 tsp. sea salt

Line rimmed sheet pan with silicone mat, parchment paper, or wax paper.

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. Watch closely and stir often.

When butter is evenly browned, stir in marshmallows and sea salt. Melt and cook, stirring often, until mixture turns pale brown, then stir constantly until lightly browned but not dark, 3 to 5 minutes.

Turn off heat, add cereal, and mix well, preferably with a silicone spoon or spatula. Scrape into prepared pan and press down lightly. If necessary, butter hands to press mixture flat. Let cool for at least an hour and cut into squares or bars. Store in a well sealed container to keep them as crunchy as possible.

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[…] and put them to work in this recipe for Serious Eats. They may not be as classy as Megan B.’s carmelized brown butter version, but they’re quick, inexpensive, and pink, so what’s not to love? — Sarah […]

I tried these this week and they were awesome. So much more creamy than the regular kind. Of course I didn’t have Rice Crispies so I used Cheerios and corn Chex – which could have accounted the better marsmellow to cerel ratio. Random, I know but they were still really good. Thanks for sharing!


I recommend only using 6 cups of rice cereal if you like the traditional semi-chewy treats. 9 cups made for pretty naked cereal. I didn’t have enough marshmallow mixture to cover mine.