Salted Brown Butter Crispy Treats

June 2013 003

My friends Brodie and Lauren regularly host movie nights in their backyard. Brodie has rigged up an excellent screen and projector set-up, which I’m certain is the envy of all his neighbors. Their most recent screening was of The Goonies, one of my childhood favorites. Brodie always fires up the grill for move nights and encourages everyone to bring something to grill. There’s usually plenty of other food to enjoy, too. June 2013 006

I wanted to contribute something to the most recent movie night, but I didn’t have much time. After considering a few options, I decided to try these Salted Brown Butter Crispy Treats from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. They are officially my new when-I-need-a-dessert-in-hurry go-to for potlucks. They didn’t take more than 10 minutes to pull together, and the resulting squares were gooey and wonderful. I didn’t think it would be possible to top the classic Rice Crispy Treat—but add a little flaky sea salt and brown butter, and anything is possible.

Salted Brown Butter Crispy Treats (from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook; makes 16 two-inch squares)

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus extra for the pan
Heaping 1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt
1 10-ounce bag large or miniature marshmallows
6 cups puffed-rice cereal (about half of a 12-ounce box)

Butter (or coat with nonstick spray) an 8-inch square cake pan with 2-inch sides.

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. Stir frequently, scraping up any bits from the bottom as you do. Don’t take your eyes off the pot. While you may be impatient for it to start browning, the period between the time the butter begins to take on color and the point where it burns is often less than a minute.

As soon as the butter takes on a nutty color, turn the heat off, sprinkle salt over butter, and stir in the marshmallows. The residual heat from the melted butter should be enough to melt them, but if it is not, turn it back on low heat until the marshmallows are smooth. Be careful not to cool the marshmallows, which will destroy their stretch softness; you’re just looking for enough heat so they will melt and smooth out.

Remove the pot from the stove, and stir in the cereal, folding it gently with the marshmallow mixture until the cereal is evenly coated. Quickly spread into prepared pan. I use a piece of waxed or parchment paper that I’ve sprayed with oil to press it firmly and evenly into the edges and corners and smooth the top, though a silicon spatula works almost as well.

Let cool, then cut into squares and get ready to make new friends.

Category: Kristin's Kitchen 2 comments »

2 Responses to “Salted Brown Butter Crispy Treats”

  1. Marsha K

    I don’t see the sea salt mentioned in the instructions. When does one add it? Thanks!

  2. kristin

    Sorry, Marsha! Thanks for catching that omission. I just added a note to the recipe – you sprinkle the salt over the butter once it takes on a nutty color (just before you stir in the marshmallows).


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