When I was in high school, I had some super-cool young women’s group leaders from church who would come to my high school campus and eat lunch with the girls from my neighborhood once a month. More specifically, they brought us lunch, a welcome change from the cafeteria menu. We sat on the lawn or in in the seminary building and enjoyed pizza, veggies, and these rice krispie treats.
Now, I would have to be pretty darn hungry to be tempted by one of those squares in the blue shiny wrapper. I’m not really big on the recipe from the back of the Rice Krispie box either. But these were not your normal rice krispie treats, and our group of about 10 girls had no trouble devouring a couple pans of these.
I always wished I had the recipe for those magical gooey squares, but I never got around to asking. Then when I was engaged (admittedly, I was engaged to be married within a year after graduating high school) the ladies from church threw me a “recipe” shower, where they brought their favorite recipes to give me, along with non-perishable ingredients and kitchenware. To my delight, this rice krispie recipe was among the gifts!
Even though these are super quick and easy to make, I don’t make them very often because they are just so hard to stop eating. And they are, um, not exactly healthy.
The secrets that make these squares better than the usual ones is that you combine a ton of butter with brown and white sugar, and boil them till they begin to caramelize. This, along with the vanilla, lends a flavor dimension and irresistibility that isn’t there with regular rice krispies. The final touch is that you reserve part of the bag of marshmallows until the very end. You stir them in after the rice krispies, so that they don’t melt all the way. This helps keep the texture soft and chewy. One of the worst things about the standard rice krispie treat is that it’s like an edible sandstone brick that tries to divest you of your gums when you bite into it. These “best ever” treats are much more forgiving to the mouth.
Make these next time you need a quick treat–just make sure you aren’t the only one around, or you might end up eating the whole pan before you know it!
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 8 cups crispy rice cereal
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 bag small marshmallows, divided
Set aside 1 1/2 cups of the marshmallows.
Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the sugars and bring to a boil. Boil for exactly 2 minutes and 20 seconds, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add in the vanilla and marshmallows, stirring until the marshmallows are melted. Immediately add the rice cereal and stir gently until the cereal is coated. Gently fold in the reserved marshmallows.
Press into a 9 x 13 pan and allow to cool before cutting.
Linked at: Living Well Spending Less