guest post: browned butter rice krispies treats

I’m right in the middle of an 18-day stretch of work, so posting — and cooking, photographing, housekeeping, gardening, and spending time with my family – has been a bit challenging. To top it off, we lost a beloved pet – our almost 17 year old cat, Fritz – on Mother’s Day. All of this is to say that I could really use a break right about now.

Thanks to my friend, Brian, from A Thought For Food, I don’t have to leave you all completely hanging. When I asked him if he’d be interested in posting here, he graciously accepted, and I’m so glad he did. Brian has been writing his beautiful food blog for almost two years – he celebrates his two year anniversary in June – and it’s one of my favorites to read. His photography is stunning, with a warm, vintage feel to his food photos that draws the viewer in. He has quite a way with words, and his recipes are always inspiring. I’ve never met Brian in person, but when I make it up to Boston one day, I plan to remedy that.

You can connect with Brian on Twitter and on Facebook, and, of course, through his blog. And you really should.

When Merry-Jennifer asked me to do a guest post for her beautiful blog, I immediately knew that I not only wanted to make something that she would enjoy, but a recipe that her kids would have fun making (and eating) as well.

I’ve always enjoyed MJ’s ability to have balance in her life. She juggles her work, her children, her blog… her husband (had to throw him in here, because we all know how much work that can be)… so seamlessly, I wonder how she stays sane. But she does, and she does it all with a big smile.

In a way, MJ is a kid at heart. She’s incredibly hard working and focused, of course, but she also has a playfulness to her. Which is why I couldn’t think of anything better to share on The Merry Gourmet than this recipe for Brown Butter Rice Krispies Treats.

You may be thinking, “Really, Rice Krispies treats? You couldn’t think of anything slightly more sophisticated?” But before you judge, just try them.

The recipe comes from the Flour Bakery Cookbook, a recent release that has become a favorite of mine. The Flour Bakery is a Boston establishment, and almost anyone you talk to has a story to tell or a favorite pastry they recommend. Now, prior to making these treats, I had never had them from the store. In fact, I don’t think I’ve had a Rice Krispies treats since elementary school.

But the first bite of this decadent dessert brought on an enormous grin (and a giant, almost sensual, moan).

If you aren’t quite getting how incredible these are, maybe this will do it: take a look at the ingredients below and note the quantity of butter.  That’s right… two sticks.  Two sticks of butter, that has been browned in a pan, releasing a wonderful, nutty flavor.  Then it’s mixed with two bags of marshmallows, tossed with a box of rice cereal, and spread across a pan.  These aren’t just the simplest dessert you can ever make, but they are dangerously addictive as well (Eric, my husband and model, and I had a tough time stopping ourselves from taking slivers off them).  I highly recommend giving away at least half of them right away.

Otherwise, I can guarantee they won’t last more than a day.

Browned Butter Rice Krispies Treats


1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/2 vanilla bean
2 10-oz bags marshmallows
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
9 cups crispy rice cereal


Spray a 9x13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.

Add the butter to a large saucepan set over low heat. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the pan with the butter. The butter will melt then begin to bubble and foam. Eventually it will start to turn brown and smell nutty - be patient and watch carefully, it can go from brown to burned quickly. Once the butter is browned, add all of the marshmallows and the salt. Stir the mixture constantly until the marshmallows are completely melted.

Turn off the heat under the pan and add the cereal. Use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to coat the cereal evenly with the buttery, marshmallow liquid. Spread the mixture in an even layer in the prepared baking pan. Let cool for at least an hour before cutting and serving. You can store the treats in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days.