If you are a gen-Xer like me, you may have grown up with these chewy, distinctly vanilla-tasting Rice Krispie Treats.
While this is not the original recipe, we bow to the simple creativity and delicious bite of the original.
The original recipe was on the back of every box, and it was one of the first desserts I successfully created.
So we’ve tweaked the rice krispie treats recipe a bit to stay a little chewier and softer after cooling.
The recipe makes a huge pan of inexpensive classroom treats to bring in for birthdays that didn’t require an oven, and it was simple enough to melt the butter and marshmallows in the microwave.
I remember the first time I stirred in peanut butter as a teenager and instantly became a four-star chef. What richness! What creativity!
The trick was waiting until the warm goo was set before eating it. Turns out, warm and right off the spoon tasted pretty good too.
I ate most of what I made in a single afternoon in front of the tv and complained of a stomach ache for two days. Shocker.
While the treats have the brand name, you don’t have to use Kellog’s RIce Krispies. I have used every store brand and generic crisped rice cereal out there, and they all come out about the same, as long as you use FRESH cereal.
You can’t really have a good-tasting treat made out of stale cereal.
But if your cereal is hanging in there, you may as well use up the box.
Be sure to measure out the cereal in a measuring cup and don’t just guess, especially if the package is open and you don’t know how much is missing.
Pro Tip: Use vinyl or rubber gloves and spray each gloved hand with cooking spray before spreading the warm mix into the sprayed pan. This stuff is STICKY, and gets even stickier as it cools.
What are rice krispie treats?
Rice Krispie Treats are a very simple sweet treat made out of melted marshmallows, butter, and Rice Krispies cereal.
It’s totally fine to use generic brand crisp rice cereal.
I include a bit of milk to our recipe just to make it creamier and a little easier to spread. I also like a touch more butter.
Once the butter and marshmallows are melted you combine that with the cereal.
Then you spread the mixture into a large greased baking dish and allow them to cool.
Finally, you cut them into squares and serve.
Rice krispie treats are gooey and a bit messy to eat. That is part of the fun though.
Recipe variation ideas
The fun part about Rice Krispie treats are all of the variations on the recipe.
Once you have made the original plain version of these treats and have the process down, the additional options are truly endless.
- Chocolate chips
- Peanut butter
- Broken chocolate bar pieces
- Candy confetti
- Drizzle with chocolate or caramel
- Holiday M&Ms
- Fruity pebbles
- Shredded coconut
- Red hots
- Cinnamon and brown sugar
- Dried fruit
Tips on melting marshmallows
When it comes to melting marshmallows, low and slow is the key. This is not a process that you want to try and rush through.
If you aren’t careful you will burn the marshmallows and that won’t be yummy at all.
For best results when melting marshmallows, I recommend using fresh ones.
Don’t over stir when melting the marshmallows. If you over stir they may harden.
- 5 3/4 c Rice Krispies brand cereal or generic crisp rice cereal
- 1/2 stick of butter
- 8 oz mini marshmallows (big ones are okay too, but the small ones melt faster and more evenly)
- 1 1/4 T milk
- Cooking spray
- Add butter to a large saucepan and slowly melt it over low heat. Don't let the butter burn.
- Add marshmallows and stir occasionally until they are melted.
- Add in milk and stir.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cereal. Stir until the cereal is fully coated.
- Coat a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray.
- Use your cooking-spray-coated vinyl gloves to spread the mixture into the pan. Or spray a spatula with cooking spray first.
- Allow the treats to cool.
- Cut into squares and serve.
- Store in an airtight container.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 214Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 187mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 0gSugar: 15gProtein: 2g
The bottom line
When taking the cut Rice Krispie Treats in a container to a function, event or classroom party, we highly recommend using parchment or wax paper between layers.
I see a lot of “blocks” of rice crispy treats, ones that are three inches high, but I think those are harder to eat, and make a mess.
Use a big casserole dish or sheet pan so that you can make skinnier squares that are easy to bite into.
If possible, don’t pack them in too tightly side to side either, or they will be a little harder to separate, and little hands will be digging in and touching two or three at a time.
How often do you make rice crispy treats now? Do you have a favorite mix-in? Mine is still creamy peanut butter, and I like mine to be softer than the original recipe, even after cool. (It’s why I like that extra milk in the recipe.)