Rice Krispie Treats with Browned Butter

My favorite Rice Krispie Treat recipe is adapted from an old brand name recipes cookbook. About 3 years ago I posted it with the title Marshmallow Treats from the ‘80s . In hindsight, that wasn’t a very good name since the key to the recipe is the phrase “…melt the butter completely until it just starts to brown.” So I’ve decided to go with something more descriptive and have re-named the recipe Rice Krispie Treats with Browned Butter.

This morning I made a batch of my old favorite recipe on an electric stove and I noticed that the butter browned very quickly. If I hadn’t lifted the pan off the electric burner, it would have burnt and ruined all the treats. So given that, I’ve revised the recipe somewhat and linked to a tutorial on browning butter. One interesting tip I ran across was to use a stainless steel pan. Butter doesn’t always brown properly in aluminum pans and if you use a dark bottom pan, you’ll have a hard time keeping track of how dark the butter gets. I discovered that by trial and error years ago, but it was good seeing it in print.

Rice Krispie Treats

Rice Krispie Treats with Browned Butter
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Rice Krispies treats made with browned butter. Peanut butter is optional.
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 12
  • 4 tablespoons butter (salted) or use unsalted butter and add a pinch of salt when melted
  • 1 (10 oz ) package big marshmallows or 4 cups of the small type
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter (optional)
  • 5 cups Rice Krispies cereal
  1. Have ready an 8 inch square metal pan. In the past I’ve used a 9 inch square or 13x9 inch, but I like the look of tall krispie treats, so these days I use an 8 inch pan.
  2. Rub a very large, light colored stainless steel saucepan or Dutch oven with butter to prevent sticking. Set over medium heat and melt the butter until it just starts to brown. This will happen at a different rate of speed depending on your stove. If it starts browning too quickly, remove from heat, swirl the pan, and put the butter back on at a very much reduced heat. Be careful not to burn it.
  3. Stir in the marshmallows and reduce heat to low. Stir marshmallows until they begin melting. When melted, add the peanut butter (if using) and cereal and stir until coated.
  4. Transfer mixture to pan and press down with a piece of greased foil or parchment. Let the treats cool completely then lift them out of the pan, place on a cutting board and score into giant size squares.
Serving size will vary depending on how big you cut them.

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  1. says

    I LOVE the smell of browned butter. It makes all the difference in the world with something like this! Thanks for the reminder.

  2. says

    Just last week I was in a coffee shop where they were selling Rice Krispie treats that were large enough to serve four. It made me think that it’s been a long time since I made them. One time I made them with white chocolate, browned butter, and brown rice cereal in addition to the marshmallows and I thought they were divine. I’m sure these are too.

  3. says

    Now I know why I’ve always had a hard time with browned butter. I’ve only ever tried on an electric stove. Our new house in Utah has a gas stove! You know me and rice krispies treats and I’m sure I’ll have to try this!

  4. says

    Katrina, you can brown butter on an electric stove. Really! I do it. The key is a good stainless steel pan.

  5. says

    Sue, my issue is really more in that I am doing more than one thing at a time and forget it for too long, but it’s nice to know I have something to blame it on. 😉 And Sue, what happened to your blog? Haven’t seen anything for a while.

  6. says

    Thanks for the tutorial, but please pardon my ignorance as I couldn’t find the answer ~ am I supposed to strain the brown butter to get all the particles out?

  7. says

    I didn’t do any straining. I know a lot of recipes for browned butter call for it, but in this case I don’t think it’s necessary.

    One thing I’m thinking about trying is making the brown butter in a small stainless steel pan, straining it, then storing it in the refrigerator it until ready to use in a fresh batch of treats. This seems like a lot of extra work, but if you had the browned butter already prepared, you could melt the butter and marshmallows in a microwave safe bowl and prepare the treats using the microwave method.

    But no, I never strained it and I never tasted any bitterness or unpleasantness from the unstrained browned butter.

  8. says

    Thank you for the browned butter tutorial — the taste is so distinctive, but I’ve been a little scared to attempt it.

  9. Angela says

    I can’t remember where I saw the recipe, but have you tried this using unsalted butter and adding sea salt. Super yummy and has a little crunch with the salt. Browned butter rice krispie treats are my favorite.

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