Wednesday, February 10, 2016

salted brown butter crispy treats.

I feel kind of ridiculous talking about rice crispy treats since they are in the best possible way the furthest thing from a baked good.  Heating butter and marshmallows in the microwave and mixing in rice crispies is basically one step up from pouring yourself a bowl of cereal.   

But a few weeks back while rushing through Chelsea Market like a mad woman, I found myself at the Liddabit Sweets counter awestruck by a pile of Salted Brown Butter Crispy Treats.  I can't explain why I wanted them but I did.  Immediately.  And then I wanted more.  

Rice crispy treats while good are nothing particularly special.  But adding browned butter and salt (and if you are up for the challenge homemade marshmallows) turns them into something positively transcendent.  

Salted Brown Butter Crispy Treats
Recipe from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

Because I am me, I made my own marshmallows.  You don't need to but my god do they change everything.  If you are up for a fun activity (and seriously it is fun) use this recipe!  Any leftovers can be used in a most epic hot chocolate or for indoor s'mores.   

Makes 16 2-inch squares or 32 1- x 2-inch small bars

4 ounces (1/4 pound or 1 stick) unsalted butter, plus extra for the pan
1 10-ounce bag marshmallows
Heaping 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
6 cups Rice Krispies cereal (about half a 12-ounce box) - Can also use brown rice rice crispies 

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

In a large pot, melt 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 as while you may be impatient for it to start browning, the period between the time the butter begins to take on color and 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 and 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 and stir in the salt and cereal together. Quickly spread into prepared pan. I liked to 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, though a silicon spatula works almost as well.

Let cool and cut into squares.

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