Salted Brown Butter Rice Krispies

I know what you're probably thinking. Oh wow, Blondie. A recipe for rice krispie treats? You're really scraping the bottom of the barrel these days. 

Oh man, if only you could have a mouthful of these little babies. You'd ask for another 10 mouthfuls. These typical rice krispie treats have been completely transformed by two of my favorite ingredients: 

browned butter
sea salt. 

This treat will never be the same for me, nor will I ever make rice krispies without those two blessed ingredients. HUGE transformation, folks. 

I've always wanted to try this recipe from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, and I can't believe it didn't make it to the top of my list as slowly as it did. I should have tried it the second I bought & had the cookbook signed by Ms Deb herself. It. Is. AMAZING. 

The recipe isn't any more complicated, either. It starts right-off-the-bat with the browning of the butter. This is truly an art. Sometimes the butter browns perfectly, but it sure has a tricky way of changing from browned to black in literally less than a second. The trick is to keep the heat at medium-low, keep a close eye on the butter after it foams, and pull it off the heat right after that amber flavor shines through and the nutty aroma fills your senses. Immediately toss in the marshmallows and stir. The heat of the pan and the toasty brown butter will melt the marshmallows into a thick shiny almost sauce-like liquid. This is your green light to stir in the krispy cereal (puffed rice) and sea salt. If you have regular salt, it might work. But there's something so rich and subtle about the sea salt. More on that later.

Getting the gooey marshmallow mess from the pot into the pan can be a little nuts. I've learned that plastic wrap and cooking spray are your friend. If you prep your flat serving pan with plastic wrap and a little spritz of cooking spray, you'll be able to have perfectly flat and shaped bars when it all cools. The krispie treats are so soft, and have just the right amount of crunch to each bite. The brown butter will hit you almost immediately. It's heavenly, and will blow your minds and change whatever you thought you knew about rice krispie treats. After you chew for a second or two, the sea salt comes in. It's subtle, but it ties in the brown butter and fluffy marshmallow in a way you'll never forget. It's what tempts you into taking yet another, and another, and another bite. Next thing you know, the pan is half empty, and no one else is home but the 3 year old. He looks like he could have eaten half the pan, right? ;) 

Salted Brown Butter Rice Krispies
makes 16 squares 8x8 pan -or- 32 squares 9x13 pan

1 stick unsalted butter
10 oz bag marshmallows
1/4-1/2 t coarse sea salt
6 C Rice Krispie cereal

1. In a large pot, melt stick of butter over medium heat. While butter is melting, prep pan with plastic wrap and a little cooking spray (making sure there's a 1 inch overhang on each side). 
2. After the butter has melted completely, it will begin to foam. Watch it closely because it will quickly go from brown to burned. When it begins to smell nutty and turns a light golden amber, stir it around for a second, then remove from the heat. Immediately toss in marshmallows and stir until marshmallows have completely melted, about 3 minutes. (Add back to the low heat surface if marshmallows aren't melting fast enough). 
3. Remove from heat, and add in salt and cereal. Stir together until completely melted, then press mixture into your prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap over the top, then refrigerate for up to 10 minutes until completely firm. When cooled completely, cut into squares. Store in an airtight container. 

recipe source: Smitten Kitchen. 


  1. Saw these on IG and had to pop over. Amazing!!! Love salted brown butter & sea salt, what a perfect combination for a rice krispie treat. So bummed I don't have a couple in front of me now!

    1. Oh my goodness! You should SO make this with your boys - they would love it!

  2. These look sooo good! We're big fans of rice krispie treats :D


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