The weekend of February 30th (2 weekends ago) I made 4 batches of rice crispy treats.
It started out innocent enough. I read about a recipe for salted brown butter crispy treats that I just had to try and since the rice crispy cereal box was so huge I thought what the hay, let's make a couple different versions, play around, see if I can make the best rice crispy treat this side of the Hudson. I don't know why I just said that. Anyway, I wound up making 3 batches the first night and another the next night when the other batches were gone. Meaning, we ate them ALL.
I gotta tell you after all my experimenting I think the secret to a great crispy treat is to put it in an 8x8 pan instead of the 9x13 pan because then they are plumper and taller. And, the other secret, in the words of my "friend" Deb, is to put a bit more (coughdouble) the amount of butter and then upping the marshamllow to cereal ratio. Either adding less cereal (like 2 cups less) if using the classic recipe or just do it the way I like it and don't measure just dump more marshmallow in the pot and stop adding cereal when it looks to be not very dry. Actually, it should look gloopy and wet. That way the cereal will absorb all the marshmallow and butter and will remain chewy and not dry out as fast. Have you ever had a rice crispy treat the day after you made it? Its like biting into a rock and it cuts the roof of your mouth up like captain crunch cereal. Not these...
Ok, now the salted brown butter rice crispy treats that I originally set out to make were indeed good but my beef with them was they tasted like the normal treats with maybe a bit more depth of flavor. A deeper flavor if you will-but not different enough to make me want to toast my butter everytime. If you want to try them, just double the butter for the classic rice crispy treats and toast it over medium low heat, it will foam, then turn clear golden and finally start to turn brown and smell nutty. Then you add the marshamallows and melt, then add a heaping 1/4 teaspoon of coarse sea salt. Stir it in, then add the cereal and press into the pan. Maybe I didn't use enough salt? I dunno but I didn't taste it.
My favorite treat were the butterscotch ones! My husbands were the plain orginial ones...of course. But I knew that would be the case going in. He likes classic tastes when it comes to dessert. He did notice however, that by upping the marshamllow to cereal ratio and the addition of more butter made them SO much better. Oh, the butterscotch ones though! let me tell you about those. You see for years now I have been buying butterscotch rice crispy treats from this man named Greg who runs a catering company out here called Fireside Catering. He has a stand at the farmers market every Saturday during the Summer and I almost without fail buy one (or two) of his butterscotch crispy treats becuase they are heaven. It's kind of sad though because my treat tasted exactly like his. Exactly. I would be very, very surprised if his recipe differed from mine in any way. I say it was sad because even though I really wanted to know how to make these for some time, now that I do, it will no longer be a novelty waiting for the farmers market so I can get my fix. Sad also thinking of the pounds I will surely gain from making these anytime I want. Scary.
Butterscotch Rice Crispy Treats
1 stick unsalted butter
1 10-ounce bag of marshmallows (I like the big ones over the small)
Half an 11oz bag of butterscotch chips (next to chocolate chips)
4 1/2 cups Rice Krispies cereal
In a large pot melt butter over medium low heat. Add the marshmallows, stirring occasionally until they melt. Add the butterscotch chips and stir until melted, then, off the heat stir in the cereal until combined. Spray an 8x8 pyrex dish with cooking oil or butter it, then add the cereal mixture. Spray your fingertips with the oil (so they don't stick) and pat down on the cereal until it is even. Let sit until cool, at least an hour, cut into squares and eat.
makes 9 thick squares
I like these best after they have sat for a couple hours at least or even the next day. They are chewier than if you were to just eat them right away and that is just the way I like them. If I were to do this again, I would probably add some more marshmallows in the pot and then up the cereal amount to 5 cups because they would have been prettier just a bit taller in the pan.