I love Rice Krispies Treats. Like LOVE. These Brown Butter Vanilla Bean Rice Krispies treats are a major upgrade to a no-bake childhood favorite dessert. It’s basically a more adult version of a classic kid treat. This recipe is perfect to whip up when you need a dessert ready in 20 minutes that everyone will love. The flavor from brown butter and pure vanilla bean is seriously next level.
I love to bring a big batch of these to a casual family and friends gathering, BBQ, tailgate to share. I can’t keep them around my house because I am not able to stop eating them. They are that good. These are one of the most requested items from my friends whenever we get together!
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How do I brown butter?
If you’ve yet to discover the delicious joys of brown butter in your sweet treats, this recipe is a great place to start. It’s very easy to do, but you want to make sure that you watch it closely as it can go from perfect to “I can’t believe I wasted this butter and have to start over” real quick.
It’s best to brown butter in a light colored pan as that allows you to monitor the development of color in the butter so to not let it burn. The time between brown and burnt butter is fleeting. You want to melt your butter on medium. First it will foam, then that will subside and you will see that it will start to turn brown with little bits at the bottom. As soon as it turns a gorgeous amber color and you smell that heavenly nutty aroma, immediately remove it from the heat and dump in your marshmallows to cool it down and stop the cooking.
Using fresh vanilla bean pods
Real, whole vanilla beans are a gift. If you’ve never used one before, your life is about to change. Not only do they look like a sorcerers wand, they can truly transform the flavor of any basic dessert. One vanilla bean is the equivalent of about 2-3 teaspoons of vanilla extract. They’re found in the spice section of the grocery store and can be pretty expensive, but totally worth it. Purchasing them on Amazon is definitely a cheaper option.
Look for beans that are glossy and plump. If they’re dull and dried, it will be difficult, if not impossible to scrape out the goodies inside. You’ll also be tempted to store them for a special occasion but they’re best enjoyed fresh. If you do need to store them, make sure it’s in a tightly or vacuum sealed plastic bag with all of the air pressed out.
To get the million little seeds out, simply make a careful incision lengthwise down the pod and carefully scrape the knife against each side to extract the seeds.
Tips for perfect Rice Krispies Treats
Have all of your ingredients measured out and ready to go before you start. The process is easy but it goes fast so you want to be ready!
Use slightly wet hands or a piece of wax paper to very gently press the mixture into your baking dish. You want them to be light and chewy and not compressed so don’t pack them down too hard.
Butter your baking dish! Marshmallow anything is very sticky and a buttered dish ensures easy release.
Let cool completely before cutting into squares. Hard to resist, I know.
Go ahead and double the recipe. You’ll be glad you did ; )
Brown Butter Vanilla Bean Rice Krispies Treats
- 10 oz bag of mini marshmallows
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1 vanilla bean
- 6 cups puffed rice cereal
- pinch of salt
- Prepare buttered 9x13 baking dish.
- Melt butter on medium low in a heavy bottomed pot. Turn up the heat a little bit and cook butter until it becomes slightly browned and smells nutty.
- Remove from heat and add marshmallows. Stir till fully melted.
- Split vanilla bean lengthwise down the middle and carefully scrape out seeds and add to marshmallow mixture. Stir to evenly distribute flecks.
- Stir in cereal and transfer immediately to buttered baking dish. Gently press even with wax paper or wet fingers to prevent sticking. Do not press hard, just enough so the treats are evenly distributed. You want them to stay light!
- Cool completely and cut into squares.