BY JESSICA MORONE AND TASTING TABLE STAFF
Gather your ingredients for the Rice Krispie treats
It’s little surprise Rice Krispie treats are so good when you closely consider the ingredients! To make a batch, you’ll need salted butter, sweetened condensed milk, soft caramels, vanilla extract, salt, mini marshmallows, lots of Rice Krispies cereal, and caramel sauce, for topping and flaky sea salt, both of which are optional for topping but are highly recommended.
“The special ingredient in these is the sweetened condensed milk, which helps to make these extra gooey and also gives them a longer shelf life than if you just used marshmallows,” Morone says.
Begin to melt and mix ingredients
First things first, prep a 9×13-inch baking dish with either parchment paper or aluminum foil and then spray the inside of that lined dish with cooking spray. Now set it aside, but close at hand.
Next, add the butter to a large pot and begin to melt it over a low heat. Once the butter has fully melted, add the sweetened condensed milk to the pot and stir, keeping at it until the milk and melted butter have fully incorporated. Next, add the caramels to the pot and stir slowly and steadily as these melt and mix in, which will take up to 5 minutes.
Once the caramels have combined in, add the vanilla extract and salt to the pot and mix everything well, and then finally toss in the mini marshmallows and keep on stirring until these too have melted and been incorporated. “The only thing you really want to watch out for is to make sure the burner on your stove isn’t too high when you are doing all the melting steps in the beginning,” Morone says. “If the heat is too high you could burn the caramel and marshmallow mixture and have to start all over. If you make sure that the burner is on low heat you shouldn’t have to worry about this though.”
Pour out and shape the Rice Krispie treats
Once all of the meltable ingredients are well-combined, remove the pot from heat. Immediately add the dry Rice Krispies to the melted ingredients and stir them well until all of the cereal has been fully coated with and incorporated into the melted the caramel sauce.
Now quickly (but carefully — it’s sticky!) and evenly pour the completed Rice Krispies treat mixture into the prepared baking dish from earlier, and use a spatula to scrape the last bits from the pan, then gently use that same spatula to press the mixture out evenly into the pan.
Garnish the squares if desired, then slice and enjoy
If you will be using toppings (like sea salt or caramel sauce or whatever sounds great to you), now is the time to add it while the Rice Krispies are still warm and extra sticky. Either way, once topped or not, let them set for at least 30 minutes to cool and set fully. Then slice the large, rectangular brick into individual treats and enjoy. Optionally drizzle on extra caramel and flaky sea salt as garnish.
If you have extras, you’re in luck — these treats store easily and for quite some time. Morone says: “You will want to store these in an airtight container at room temperature, and they will keep for up to a week.”
4 tablespoons salted butter
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
25 soft caramels, unwrapped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
1 (10 ½-ounce) package mini marshmallows
6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
caramel sauce, for topping
flaky sea salt, for topping
Line a 9×13-inch baking dish with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Spray the inside with cooking spray, then set aside.
Add the butter to a large pot and melt over low heat. Once melted, add the sweetened condensed milk and mix until fully incorporated. Then add the caramels to the pot and stir until melted and incorporated, about 5 minutes.
Add the vanilla and salt to the pot and mix well, then ad the mini marshmallows to the pot and stir until fully melted.
Remove the pot from heat. Add the Rice Krispies to the pot and stir until the cereal is well coated in the caramel sauce.
Pour the Rice Krispies treat mixture into the prepared baking dish, then use a spatula to gently press the mixture evenly into the pan. Optionally drizzle on extra caramel or add flaky sea salt.
Let sit for at least 30 minutes to set, then cut into squares and serve.