Not your average lunchbox rice krispie treats, these Salted Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats have that salty-sweet, nutty brown butter flavor, with pockets of gooey marshmallow that make them extra amazing.
Love rice krispie treats? Us too! Some of our other favorite "gourmet" rice krispies treats are Strawberry Rice Krispies Treats, Fruity Pebbles Rice Krispies Treats, Scotcheroos, and Rocky Mountain Avalanche Bars!
I remember the first time I ever had a salted rice krispie treat. It was my last year of law school and one of my study group members, Sarah, brought them to us after having seen the recipe on Smitten Kitchen.
We had a pretty unique study group for most law schools, I think, where we were all female, mostly married, and some of our members were already moms.
I miss those girls and those days of getting together and going over notes and outlines and prepping for exams together, and honestly, every time I make these rice krispie treats they transport me right back to those study rooms in the J. Reuben Clark law building at BYU.
I've made these so many times over the years since then because they are one of my husband's favorite treats now too, and I've adapted the recipe quite a bit from the original measurements to get them just how I like them.
But the concept is the same as the original Smitten Kitchen version where classic rice krispie treats get a makeover to use browned butter for a warm, nutty flavor (and a divine aroma), and coarse salt, which is a surprising and wonderful change to the original.
But I always have to give people a disclaimer before giving them these that they are SUPPOSED to be a little salty so they aren't turned off.
These make big, thick rice krispie treats, which is my preferred way to go. And there are pockets of only partially melted marshmallow throughout that help keep them extra soft and gooey, which is how I like them!
My secret to super soft rice krispie treats is to not only use plenty of marshmallows, but to hold some in reserve rather than melting all of the marshmallows with the butter, then mixing in the reserve marshmallows with the rice krispies cereal.
That's how you get those gooey pockets of marshmallow in the rice krispie treats, and it makes a huge difference.
And if you love rice krispie treats, you should also check out these cookie butter rice krispie treats and rocky mountain avalance bars that are my other favorite "gourmet" versions of this classic treat!
How to Make Perfect Rice Krispie Treats
One of my favorite tips for making rice krispie treats is to save the butter wrappers instead of throwing them away when you put the butter in the pot to melt. They are great for gently pressing the rice krispies into the pan without getting hands sticky or using the spoon that you stirred the cereal in with, which always wants to stick to the bars.
Another tip for great rice krispie treats is to not press too hard and crush the cereal when patting the rice krispie treats into the pan. Compact them too much and the rice krispie treats will turn into dense little bricks. But gentle pressing with those saved butter wrappers will help the rice krispies stick together in perfect squares for cutting later.
And speaking of cutting rice krispie treats, to get perfect squares, I find that the best way is to first trim away the sides of the entire slab of rice krispy treats, since my baking dish has slightly sloped edges. Then I slice into even squares using a large knife, and enjoy the edge trimmings as a treat for myself!
More Classic Treat Recipes You'll Love
- Thick, Fudgy, Chewy, Ultimate Brownies
- The BEST Soft & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Big, Soft Baked Peanut Butter M&M Cookies
- Best Ever Moist Chocolate Cupcakes
- Orange Julius Recipe
- Chocolate Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies
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Salted Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats
- ¾ cup butter
- 30 ounces miniature marshmallows divided
- ¾ teaspoon coarse salt
- 10 cups Rice Krispies
- Prepare a 9x13-inch pan by lining with a parchment paper sling or generously butter the bottom and sides.
- Melt the butter (save the wrappers for pressing the rice krispie treats into the pan) in a large pot over medium-high heat. Once it melts, keep watching it and it will bubble, then foam, then eventually turn a dark golden brown color and smell nutty. Watch carefully though, because it can go from golden brown to burned very quickly. Little bits of brown sediment in the bottom of the pan are fine though.
- As soon as the butter is browned, turn off the heat and add all but 3 cups of the marshmallows. Stir the butter and marshmallows together with a long-handled wooden spoon until the marshmallows are melted. There should be enough residual heat from browning the butter to melt the marshmallows completely, but if not, return the pot to low heat to fully melt the marshmallows.
- Add the Rice Krispies, 3 cups of reserved marshmallows, and coarse salt and stir until combined. Gently press into a prepared 9x13-inch pan using the reserved butter wrappers.
- Let the rice krispies cool for an hour before slicing.
Reader questions and reviews
oh my gosh I have not had a rice krispie treat for SO long!!! I love that you made them salted brown butter too this combination of flavours would be so, so yumm!
Whaaaaat?!! I haven't had a Rice Krispie Treat in 500 million years, and the thought of them with salted brown butter has me weak in the knees! I must make these, but I have to bring them to a group to share because I could easily eat the whole pan.
If you actually use the stated Rice Krispies brand, then NOOOOO these are DEF NOT GLUTEN FREE!!! Rice Krispies contain Barly Malt which contains gluten. You would need to purchase another brand of crispy rice cereal to make sure yours are GF. I'd go for Trader Joes brand, those are actually manufactured GF.
Do you recommend using salted or unsalted butter?
I always use salted butter.
Do you know if this will work with vegan butter?
That's a great question, but unfortunately I don't have any experience with vegan butter! But if it melts and tastes like regular better, then I would think so! I just can't speak from personal experience.
Best recipe ever!