salted brown butter crispy treats

by Amy on 12 April 2011

our nephew celebrated his third birthday this past weekend + i figured i’d contribute to the festivities by bringing a dessert. i debated tackling macarons for the first time, but those didn’t seem particularly toddler-friendly. i thought about my childhood sweets + rice krispie treats popped to mind – however, i wanted to dress them up. a quick google search + voila: salted brown butter crispy treats!

i have to be honest – i didn’t initially have particularly high expectations for these suckers. but, as soon as i combined the brown butter marshmallow mixture with the sea salt + cereal, i knew that we were on to something great. these taste just like your childhood treats, only tons better. the brown butter lends a wonderful richness + nuttiness, while the sea salt cuts through the sweetness with a surprisingly awesome kick. they were an enormous hit at the party, especially with the adults. next time you’re looking for a nostalgic dessert with an undoubtedly grown-up twist, give this one a try!

salted brown butter crispy treats

makes 16 2” squares or 32 1” squares, adapted from smitten kitchen


1 stick unsalted butter, plus extra for the pan
1 10-ounce bag marshmallows
heaping 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
6 cups rice krispies cereal


butter (or coat with non-stick spray) an 8” square cake pan with 2” sides.

in a large pot, melt butter over medium-low heat. it will melt, then foam, then turn clear golden + finally start to turn brown + smell nutty. stir frequently, scraping up any bits from the bottom as you do. don’t take your eyes off the pot as while you may be impatient for it to start browning, the period between the time the butter begins to take on color + the point where it burns is often less than a minute.

as soon as the butter takes on a nutty color, turn the heat off + stir in the marshmallows. the residual heat from the melted butter should be enough to melt them, but if it is not, turn it back on low until the marshmallows are smooth.

remove the pot from the stove + stir in the salt + cereal together. quickly spread into prepared pan. let cool, then cut into squares.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Leah (So, How's It Taste?) April 12, 2011 at 11:51 am

Wow, Amy! I love the idea of this. It’s funny how much adults love these treats. I like your updated twist on them. I foresee these in my near future! :)

2 amy April 12, 2011 at 12:09 pm

can’t wait to hear what you think of ’em. the brown butter + salt is such a tasty twist + really cuts through the super-sweetness of the marshmallow. enjoy!

3 ErinsFoodFiles April 12, 2011 at 12:20 pm

I’ve made those too! YUUUUM! So addictive!

4 amy April 12, 2011 at 12:29 pm

i had no idea you’ve made these before! are they on your blog? if so, link up – i’d love to see your pics. + yes, they are deeeelicious!

5 Beth April 12, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Well I for one would take even the old fashioned kind of rice krispy treats over macarons any day, so if you showed up at my house with this updated version, I’d be very, very happy!!!

6 amy April 12, 2011 at 2:35 pm

it’s a deal! next time we’re planning on meeting up, i’ll bring you a batch! =)

7 kersten April 12, 2011 at 4:38 pm

and they were so delicious!! thanks amy for bringing them. jon and i were fighting over the last one.

8 amy April 12, 2011 at 4:53 pm

you are so welcome! i’m always happy to whip up something for you + your adorable family. =)

9 eliza April 12, 2011 at 10:54 pm

yum! i noticed your post as i was relaxing before playing a recital tonight, and i knew these would be the best post-recital treat. i came right home and made them, and they were scrumptious! thanks amy!

10 amy April 13, 2011 at 8:26 am

that’s awesome! i’m sure you rocked that viola recital + i’m so happy you made yourself this delicious little treat as a reward!

11 JulieD April 17, 2011 at 5:43 pm

You had me at salted brown butter…pinning these to try later. Thanks!

12 amy April 17, 2011 at 8:52 pm

i think you’re going to love ’em – every last one was eaten here, which is always a good sign. =)

13 The Waspy Redhead April 21, 2011 at 2:17 am

What a fun twist on a classic from my childhood! I will be trying these soon!

14 amy April 21, 2011 at 10:43 am

isnt it fun, though? they still taste like the childhood treats i remember, which is great, with just a few new grown up flavors thrown in there. i hope you try ’em + can’t wait to hear what you think!

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