As promised, here is the other component of this week's Wednesday night dinner: dessert! I knew the lasagna would be the star (and a rather rich one at that), so I wanted a dessert that was sweet but a little lighter than say, a chocolate cake. Rice Krispie treats are awesome, and everyone likes them, but I'm sure most people wouldn't say they qualify as a dessert for a mini dinner party. I beg to differ. These treats are the cool and smooth James Bond to the sweet and traditional Nancy Drew. (Alright, a bit off, but just keep reading.)
My crush on Smitten Kitchen knows no bounds, and Deb certainly isn't kidding when she says that these are "the best thing to happen to Rice Krispies Treats since Mildred Day of the home economics department at the Kellogg Company thought to apply marshmallows and melted butter to the puffed rice cereal in 1928." You are so right, my friend! By browning it, the butter takes on a deeper, nuttier flavor (and gorgeous amber color). Combined with a lil bit o' sea salt for the salty sweet combination... mmmmm! Seriously, do not be ashamed to serve these for dessert after a fancy dinner. Your guests will welcome the simple yet updated throwback dessert :)
Salted Brown Butter Crispy Treats
A quick note: An 8x8 inch pan will yield 16 two-inch thick treats. A 9x13 inch pan will yield 24 one-inch thin treats. Use the latter for a big group, but not for just prolonging the disappearance of these. You know you'll eat a second one of the smaller ones, which defeats the purpose of making smaller treats. Don't shake your head at me...
1 stick unsalted butter
1 10-ounce package of marshmallows
6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt (regular salt will work, too)
Coat 8 inch square pan with nonstick spray or butter. In a large pot over the stove, melt butter over medium-low heat until it melts. Stir often while scraping the bottom of the pot, and watch the butter foam and begin to darken in color from yellow to golden to brown. Seriously, don't walk away from this or it will probably go from browned to burned before you know it.
It'll smell a bit nutty -- take it off the heat ASAP and stir in the marshmallows immediately. The hot butter will melt the marshmallows with lots of stirring. If they need a little extra heat, turn the burner on low but only as needed. Remove from stove and stir salt and cereal into the marshmallow mixture. Pour mixture into greased pan quickly.
This is my favorite part: Lightly coat your clean hands with nonstick spray and use your clean yet greased hands to spread and smooth the treats into the pan. Sure, you could use waxed or parchment paper, but where is the fun in that?
Let cool/firm, cut and enjoy