The love for crispy cereal combined with melty marshmallows runs deep. Whether it was the blue foil-wrapped bar from the vending machine or a homemade treat made from the cereal box, Rice Krispies Treats were a beloved childhood snack for many — myself included.
So how do you improve upon a childhood favorite to make it something kids and adults will love? More is more, according to recipe developer Lydia Fournier. To make her Ultimate Brown Butter Rice Krispies Treats, she added more butter, more cereal, more marshmallows, and more salt.
While the original recipe from the cereal box calls for 3 tablespoons of melted butter, Lydia not only ups that to a full stick (8 tablespoons) but browns it for extra depth of flavor. (If you’ve made Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen’s Salted Brown Butter Crispy Treats, you know how big of an upgrade this is.)
As if browning the butter wasn’t enough, Lydia goes a step further and toasts dried whole milk powder directly in the brown butter. The result? An ultra-nutty, over-the-top toasty flavor. As Content Editor Rossi Anastopoulo explains in this blog post, adding milk powder to brown butter “gets the flavor of more toasted milk solids without having to use way more butter. Or, to think of it another way, you’re increasing the ratio of browned milk solids to melted butter for even more flavor.” Pick up a bag of our whole milk powder to make these treats (and while you’re at it, give Milk Chocolate Layer Cake a shot too).
Leaning into Rice Krispies Treats maximalism, Lydia also increased the cereal and marshmallow amounts. “My goal was to double the height of the original Rice Krispies Treats,” Lydia explains. “I always felt like they were too thin, and I wanted them to be more substantial to bite into.” While the original recipe calls for 6 cups of cereal and 5 1/2 cups of mini marshmallows compressed into a 9” x 13” pan, Lydia opts for 7 cups of cereal and 10 cups of mini marshmallows in a smaller 8” square pan for a thicker (a towering inch and a half!) and more satisfying treat.
A generous hand with salt and vanilla extract helps round it all out — highlighting the nuttiness of toasted milk powder and brown butter plus taming the sweetness of nearly two bags of mini marshmallows. And about those marshmallows: While the majority of them are melted in with the browned butter to bind the cereal, Lydia found that holding back a cup of marshmallows and stirring them in off the heat introduced pockets of marshmallows studded throughout the treats.
As an added bonus, Lydia solved for the original recipe’s short shelf life, as regular Rice Krispies Treats typically dry out and lose flavor after just a day. According to her, the addition of milk powder helps keep the treats soft and chewy (just watch her and this giant Rice Krispies Treat pull!) for up to a week. That is, if they last longer than day one …
And if these do happen to make it past the first day, they’re an excellent lunchbox option for both work and school all week long. Trust us, you (and your kids!) won’t go back to the original recipe after trying these.
Cover photo by Rick Holbrook; food styling by Kaitlin Wayne.