I never make Rice Krispy Treats because I have no off button for them. Seriously, no self control whatsoever. So what made me think it was a good idea to step them up a notch with browned butter and vanilla salt I have no idea.
Actually that is not true. I thought they would make a lovely contribution to my sister’s wedding cookie table and the theme for Creative Cookie Exchange this month was no bake cookies. Win win! Except. My mom wanted me to use up some old, stale bags of marshmallows in her pantry rather than buy fresh. One bag melted instantly while the other took 20 minutes to melt. On heat. Of course by then the other melted marshmallows caramelized, and the treats were rock hard and could not be sliced.
By then I was obsessed. So, too late for the wedding and too late for Creative Cookie Exchange, but here they are. And yes they were worth waiting for. I used the Smitten Kitchen recipe as a blueprint, but I knew I wanted mine a little more exciting in the salt department since I always salt my Rice Krispy Treats. So I used my coarse vanilla French sea salt, which was a brilliant stroke of inspiration if I do say so myself. The vanilla is why they look like they have been sprinkled with pepper on top–that’s not black pepper, it is ground vanilla beans.
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, browned
- 20 oz marshmallows
- 2 t vanilla salt, divided
- 12 oz Rice Krispies (puffed rice cereal)
- Line a 9X13 baking pan (2 inches deep) with parchment paper and set aside.
- I prefer to use a large pot (6-8 qt) to mix everything in. Nonstick is even better. Heat the butter in the large pot over medium heat. Watch it carefully, stirring on occasion. It will melt, then foam, and then start to brown. The browner you can get it (without letting it burn, i.e., become black) the deeper the taste will be. Make sure the marshmallows are open and ready to be poured into the butter.
- When the butter is brown enough, turn the heat either off or if your burner has a good simmer setting that is fine too (if it is electric, remove from the heat). Mix the marshmallows until they are completely melted.
- Mix in ¾ teaspoon of the vanilla salt.
- Mix in the puffed rice. When it is as evenly mixed as you can get it (do not obsess too much), dump it into the prepared baking pan.
- Using another sheet of parchment paper, press the marshmallow rice mixture into the pan evenly. Sprinkle the top with as much of the remaining vanilla salt is as to your taste.
- Let cool completely before slicing.
- Try not to eat all at once.