My sister Kathy and I recently took a fabulous baking class at Flour Bakery in Boston, MA. Our amazing instructors, Sarah and Rona, demonstrated five different cookie recipes right out of the Flour Bakery cookbook and these Brown Butter Rice Crispy Treats were one of them.
Upon reading these in the class agenda, Kathy wrinkled her nose up and promptly declared, "I've never liked them very much".
These may seem like the recipe from the Rice Krispy box, but TRUST ME....it is not even close. These are the epitome of an "adult" rice treat. Make a batch today and you will see what I mean. Or..........just ask my sister Kathy.
BROWN BUTTER RICE CRISPY TREATS
2 sticks unsalted butter
two 10-ounce bags of regular sized marshmallows
1/2 vanilla bean
1/2 teaspoon salt
9 cups rice crispy cereal
In a large pot, place butter over low heat. Scrape the seeds of 1/2 vanilla pod directly into the butter. Reserve the pod for another use. Let the butter melt. Once it has melted it will start to bubble and crackle. Watch it very carefully and you'll see the butter slowly browning; as soon as the bubbling subsides (about 5-6 minutes) the butter will be fully browned and it's ready for the addition of the marshmallows.
Turn the heat down to low and use a wooden spoon to stir in the marshmallows and salt. Stir well until the marshmallows are completely melted and the vanilla seeds are well distributed. Remove from heat, add the cereal and mix well with a wooden spoon. Pat into a greased 9x13 pan. Let cool to room temperature (or you can speed it up by placing in the fridge) for about an hour and cut into generous squares. These treats are at their best when served within 2 days. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Assemble your ingredients...or as we learned in class, mise en place, which is a French term meaning, get organized!!! We learned to measure out all or most of our ingredients and place them in labeled containers so it's easy to quickly assemble a recipe.
You want the butter to actually turn brown. When it reaches this color....
it is not ready. Does that look like brown to you??
You may see little brown bits from the melted butter in the marshmallow.
It's all good, trust me.
Now, you want to "coax" the mixture into the corners of the dish. DON'T PACK IT DOWN! I know that the traditional Rice Krispy Treats indicated that you should pack and stomp that mixture down as tight as you could. Although it looked neat and tidy, it made for a really solid and albeit heavy treat. Um...think hockey puck. Remember? Okay, with this recipe, you don't want to do that.
Let the treats cool at room temperature for a bit....forty-five minutes to an hour should do it. Then cut them into generous squares and prepare yourself, because after that first bite......
...you'll never look at Rice Krispies the same way again.