I enjoy a good twist on a classic dessert. Sprinkles of sea salt on cookies, puddings made with expensive chocolate, and herbs baked into shortbread are always welcome in my kitchen (and belly). However, the variations never replace the classic versions of the recipes. I always go back to the basics in the end.
Actually.. not always. Not when it comes to Rice Krispie squares. It all started when I tried Smitten Kitchen's recipe for brown butter Rice Krispie squares. It's not complicated, you just brown the butter before stirring in the marshmallows and cereal. But the difference in flavor is amazing! I've literally never made without brown butter since.
But I couldn't just let it be, I wanted even better squares with even more toasty flavor to them. And thus toasted marshmallow Rice Krispie squares were born.
It happened while I was making two double batches of the brown butter recipes for a bake sale. I started thinking about how delicious they would taste with toasted marshmallows and the more I thought about it, the more I couldn't believe I'd never attempted it. I've toasted marshmallows in my oven for recipes before, so its not like I needed to build a camp fire in my kitchen to make this happen.
So with the leftover ingredients I played around with toasting the marshmallows under the broiler before mixing them into the melted butter. Sadly, the first attempted batch was a let down. I hadn't toasted them dark enough to make a noticeable difference in the squares, and for some reason I had decided not to brown the butter. Foolish, foolish girl.
It took a tweak here, and a tweak there and suddenly I had a batch that was much.. MUCH better. I consider myself now ruined for any other version forever.
Then toast the marshmallows to a dark brown while carefully, carefully watching them. They go from golden to burnt in a flash so this is not the time to check your email or switch over the laundry. Eyes on the marshmallows!
Once toasted, they're stirred into the butter and the cereal is folded in..
..and spread into a greased dish to set. The high marshmallow to cereal ratio means ooey, gooey squares with streaks of marshmallow flecked with golden toasty bits.
Sorry childhood classic, I've moved on to better things. Bigger, better, gooier, tastier things that I have to physically wrap up and put out of sight to stop myself from slicing off 'tiny tastes' until the whole batch is gone.
Toasted Marshmallow Rice Krispie Squares
6 cups Rice Krispie Cereal
1/2 cup unsalted butter
10 oz mini marshmallows
1/4 tsp salt
1. Preheat your oven broiler. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and spread the marshmallows into as even of a layer as possible. A few will stick up here and there, but try to get most of them on the same level so that they brown evenly. Set aside. Grease an 8 inch square pan and set aside.
2. In a large pot, melt the butter over medium low heat. Stir in the 1/4 tsp of salt and then continue to heat the butter, stirring constantly, until it turns light golden brown and starts to smell toasted. Remove the pot from heat.
3. Place the tray of marshmallows under the broiler and watch carefully until the are golden brown to dark brown. Use a spatula to carefully scrape the toasted marshmallows into the hot melted butter. If you are worried that too many marshmallows have stuck to the paper, simply toss a few extra untoasted marshmallows into the pot with the butter.
4. Stir until the marshmallows have melted, then carefully fold in the cereal. Spread the mixture in the 8 inch square pan. Pat down firmly with a greased spatula. Allow to cool and cut into squares.
Notes: This recipes is hard to double unless you have a large enough baking tray to roast all the marshmallows at once. I've made a couple double batches where I roasted two separate trays and it requires the butter to be gently reheated so that everything is hot at once. So, it can be done but it's a bit tricky.