March 9, 2015

Brown Butter Rice Crispy Bars

This might sound weird, but I struggle making rice crispy bars. I think it's because I so often don't measure things precisely because I feel my approximations are perfectly suitable ... and then I ran into stale marshmallow issues.

I need to ensure I can make perfect rice crispy bars because these from Averie Cooks are amazing. They elevate a simple kid-friendly treat (that my 3-year-old doesn't like) into a true treat. Simply browning the butter makes all the difference. Normally I refuse to acknowledge a rice crispy bar unless it is properly topped in chocolate, but I didn't even break out the chocolate for these. (Of course, melting dark chocolate on top would only make them even more irresistible.)

Brown Butter Rice Crispy Bars

5 to 5 3/4 cups crisped rice cereal
1/2 cup salted butter, browned
10 oz. marshmallows

Grease an 8 x 8 pan, and set aside. Place 5 cups of cereal in a large bowl.

In a large pot, melt butter over medium-low heat, stirring nearly continuously or swirling the pan, until it turns golden and smells nutty. As soon at the butter begins to turn brown, take the pan off the heat, and continue to stir for about 1 minute.

Add the marshmallows, and melt over low heat until the marshmallows melt. You do not want to cook the marshmallows, only melt them. Stir to combine the marshmallows and butter. Pour mixture over cereal, and toss to coat. This amount of cereal will yield very gooey bars, so stir in up to 3/4 cup additional cereal to achieve desired texture. Mixture will be very gooey and buttery. 

Transfer mixture to prepared pan, and use a spatula or greased hands to press it firmly and evenly into the pan, making sure to really pack it down well and push it into the corners and edges. Allow bars to set at least an hour or two before slicing and serving. Makes an 8 x 8 pan that disappears quickly.

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