Rice krispy treats are one of my favorite snacks to make on a day when I’m in the mood for a sweet treat, but don’t feel like baking anything. They’re tasty, easy to make and still manage to be a hit with everyone who eats them – no matter how old they are. Homemade rice krispy treats don’t have much in common with their packaged cousins when it comes to flavor or texture. Making them from scratch also means that you can make some modifications to the basic recipe (which is butter, marshmallows and puffed rice cereal) to make a batch a lot more exciting. These Salted Chocolate & Pretzel Rice Krispy Treats are a salty-sweet twist on the original cereal bar recipe, incorporating pretzels, dark chocolate and sea salt into the mix.
The recipe starts like any other cereal bar, with butter and marshmallows melted together. You can do this in the microwave or in a large saucepan. Fold in the rice cereal and pretzels, followed by the dark chocolate and salt. I use coarsely chopped dark chocolate (semisweet/dark chocolate chunks will work, too) because I don’t want the chocolate to melt completely into the marshmallow mixture. Ideally, these bars will have a little chocolate in every bite and some larger chunks of chocolate that have not completely melted. I add the salt along with the chocolate for a similar reason, so the coarse grains stand out a little more against the other flavors.
The finished bars are delicious, with just enough salt to be addictive and a great dark chocolate flavor. They may look like a lunch box treat, but the flavors together seem surprisingly sophisticated. I’m sure that I’ve paid for “gourmet” candy bars that don’t taste nearly as good as these do. I finished my batch with a few whole pretzels and another sprinkle of salt. Allow the bars to cool completely before cutting them and store them in an airtight container in a cool place to maximize their shelf-life.
Salted Chocolate & Pretzel Rice Krispy Treats
10-oz mini marshmallows (approx. 5 1/2 cups, loosely packed)
3 tbsp butter
6 cups rice cereal
1/3 cup coarsely chopped pretzels
1/3 cup finely chopped dark chocolate
1/2 tsp sea salt
topping: 1/3 cup whole or slightly broken pretzels
In a large, microwave-safe bowl, combine marshmallows, salt and butter. Microwave on high for 60-90 seconds, until marshmallows and butter have melted. Stir the marshmallow mixture until smooth, then fold in the cereal and pretzels until mixture is uniform. Add chocolate and sea salt and stir until evenly distributed.
Transfer mixture to prepared pan and press down into an even layer with a lightly greased spatula. Sprinkle evenly with whole or slightly broken pretzels, then press them down gently to to make sure they stick to the bars. Allow bars to cool to room temperature before slicing.
Makes 16 bars