Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A Childhood Treat Makeover

I don’t ever recall making Rice Krispies Treats when I was a kid. I think it’s because we preferred Captain Crunch and Count Chocula over the plain, boring rice puffs that snapped, crackled and puffed when you poured milk over them. Nowadays though, my preference to indulge in overly-sweetened cereal has pretty much diminished, and thanks to a recent sale at the supermarket, I found myself with a couple boxes of Kellog’s Rice Krispies in my kitchen. So when I came across this recipe from the New York Times on a revamped RKT, I was curious to give it a whirl. Interestingly, this new recipe upped the butter factor (2 entire sticks versus the 3 tablespoons in the original recipe), as well as increasing the amount of Rice Krispies (one 12 ounce box versus six cups). The new recipe also calls for caramelizing the butter (hence the name of the recipe!), which means you have to keep a close eye while melting the butter, being careful that it does not burn. I’m not the the biggest fan of RKT’s in the first place, but I still thought this version was pretty good. It certainly was easier to handle when placing the mixture into the baking pan and patting it down. The end result is a firmer, crunchier treat that has a nutty kind of flavor. I suppose if you are looking for the familiar, chewy texture that you get with the original recipe, you’ll be a tad disappointed with this one (that’s how my boyfriend felt). On the other hand, I brought some to work to get my co-worker’s opinions and found that most of them liked this version a lot more. Hmmm, go figure. Well, if you do give this recipe a try, I’d love to know your thoughts. For now, I think I’ll just stick to pouring my rice krispies into a bowl, slicing some bananas on top, and dousing it with some cold milk.

Caramelized Brown Butter Rice Krispies Treats (The NY Times Oct. 31, 2007)

8 ounces butter (salted or unsalted, plus extra for the pan)
1 10.5 ounce bag marshmallows
1 12 ounce box of Rice Krispies cereal

1. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper or butter the pan well.
2. In a large pot, melt butter over medium-low heat. It will metl, then foam, then turn clear golden and finally start to turn brown and smell nutty. Watch closely and stir often.
3. When butter is evenly browned, stir in marshmallows (if using unsalted butter, stir in 1/8 tsp salt). Melt and cook, stirring often, until mixture turns pale brown, then stir constantly until lightly browned but not dark, about 3-5 minutes).
4. Turn off heat, add cereal, mix well (use a silicone spoon or a spatula); scrape into prepared pan and press down lightly (if necessary, butter hands to press the mixture flat). Let cool, and cut into squares/bars.
Yields 30-50 treats depending on size you cut them


Deborah said...

I saw these on another blog and thought they sounded interesting. I love the original Rice Krispies Treats, so I'm not sure I'd be as much of a fan of the crunchier ones, but the brown butter aspect sounds very tasty!

Augustina said...

i think this one has gotten "mixed" reviews from people who've tried it. let me know what you think if you end up making a batch.