No one really wants to turn on their oven when it is hot out during the summer because it makes the house much hotter than it has to be. I tend to turn my attention to no-bake desserts, like popsicles, ice cream and rice krispy treats as alternatives to baking. Rice krispy treats are one of those things that I made a lot as a kid and never got tired of making. I especially like them during the summer because they satisfy a sweets craving and can be made very easily in the microwave or in a saucepan. They have a great mix of crispy and sticky sweet elements and you can put all kinds of amazing variations on them to make them more delicious and a little more sophisticated than the bars you at as a kid.
These Browned Butter Rice Krispy Treats are the perfect example of how one simple change can turn a childhood favorite into a gourmet treat. The butter used in the treats is browned – cooked until the milk solids have started to toast – before being added to the rest of the ingredients. The browned butter has a nutty and very addictive quality to it that takes the edge off of the sweetness of the marshmallows that bind the treats. I added a pinch of salt to highlight the flavor of the butter even more.
Kids will definitely love these cereal bars, but adults will enjoy them just as much. And they are hard to beat when it comes to a delicious dessert that won’t heat up your kitchen on a hot day. They also travel well, so they are an excellent choice to take to barbecues and picnics during the summer and to tuck in lunch boxes – for kids and adults – the rest of the year.
Browned Butter Rice Krispy Treats
4 tbsp butter, room temperature
10-oz plain marshmallows
1/4 tsp salt
6 cups rice krispies/puffed rice cereal
Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan.
In a small saucepan, brown the butter over medium-high heat, cooking it just until it begins to turn an amber color. Remove from heat and transfer to a large, microwave-safe bowl.
Add the marshmallows to the browned butter and microwave on high for 60-90 seconds, until marshmallows have melted. Add the salt and stir the marshmallow mixture until smooth, then add in the cereal. Stir with a large spatula until everything is evenly combined.
Transfer mixture to prepared pan and press down into an even layer with a spatula. Allow bars to cool to room temperature before slicing.
Makes 24 bars