Salted Brown Butter Crispy Treats

This recipe is from the smitten kitchen cookbook, by Deb Perelman that my sister gave us for Christmas.  She is a home cook and blogger who is a self-proclaimed “obsessive home cook”.  (hence the great detail in this recipe).  You might think, Rice Krispy Treats are perfect as they are–they were invented in 1939 by Mildred Day at the Kellogg Company.  The brown butter and flaky sea salt make them even better!  I had never browned butter before and it takes longer than you might think.  With the heat on medium-low, it took over 10 minutes.  I have included this link to simply recipes.com because it has photographs of the progression from clear to brown.  Simply recipes suggests using medium heat, so it may be a lot quicker.  http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/how_to_brown_butter/  I took these to a Super Bowl party and they were gone in no time.

8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for pan (1 stick) (preferably Plugra)

Heaping 1/4 tsp. flaky sea salt

1 10-oz bag large or miniature marshmallows

6 Cups puffed-rice cerial (about half a 12-oz. box)

Butter an 8-inch square cake pan with 2-inch sides.

Brown the butter:  In a large pot, melt 1 stick butter over medium-low heat.  It will melt, then foam, then turn clear golden, and finally start to turn brown and smell nutty.  Stir frequently, scraping up any bits from the bottom as you do.  Don’t take your eyes off the pot: You may be impatient for it to start browning, but the period of time between the time the butter begins to take on color and the point when it burns is often less than a minute.

Make the crispy treats:  As soon as the butter takes on a nutty color, turn off the heat and sprinkle the salt over the butter, and stir in the marshmallows.  The residual heat from the melted butter should be enough to melt them, but if is not, turn it back on over low heat until the marshmallows are smooth.  Be careful not to cook the marshmallows, which will destroy their stretchy softness;  you’re just looking for enough heat so they will melt and smooth out. 

Remove the pot from the stove, and stir in the cereal, folding it gently with the marshmallow mixture until the cereal is evenly coated.  Quickly spread into prepared pan.  I use a piece of waxed or parchment paper that I’ve sprayed with oil to press it firmly and evenly into the edges and corners and smooth the top, though a silicon spatula works almost as well.

Let cool, then cut into squares and get ready to make new friends.Rice Krispy Treats

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