Rice Krispie treats are for summer. I mean, sure, you can make them any time, but some desserts are just designed for summer. They’re light (so you don’t feel quite as wrong putting on a bathing suit after having one). They’re quick and simple (the sun sets late in summer, leaving less time to make dessert). They leave the oven off and only use the stove for a moment (so you don’t boil alive just from making dessert if you’re living in the South in mid-August).
So you may be wondering why I’m writing about them on a rather chilly evening in February. Maple syrup, folks. Any dessert can be made to suit cooler months with maple syrup and a little nutmeg.
I’ve seen people try to tweak Rice Krispie treats before. I’ve seen red velvet ones and Nutella ones and a lovely Dulce de Leche version brought to parties. Inevitably, people try them. The comments tend to include phrases like “how unique!” or “I never would have thought of that!” but no one goes back for seconds, and eventually someone will just admit what they’re all thinking: “It’s not quite the same as I remember.”
So knowing that, why would I try yet another version? First of all, it’s winter. Regular Rice Krispie treats aren’t right for winter. Secondly, it’s Deb’s fault. (Can I just start saying that about everything from now on? Okay, thanks.)
This recipe is adapted from the Smitten Kitchen cookbook. Go buy it already. Yes, it’s that good. Her version isn’t maple flavored and contains no nutmeg, but there’s browned butter in hers and the combination of all three is what really makes these treats perfect.
1 stick (8 T) butter
1/4 cup maple syrup (grade B if you can find it)
1/2 t nutmeg
1 10-oz bag marshmallows
6 cups Rice Krispies
Place the butter in a large pot over medium heat.
Keep it on the burner. It will froth and begin to brown. Once it starts to smell a bit nutty and reaches a rich amber color, remove the pot from heat.
Add the maple syrup. It will bubble like mad.
Add marshmallows. Stir them in until they melt. This is faster with the mini mallows, but use any kind you like.
Add salt and nutmeg and fold them into the marshmallow mixture as well.
Pour on the cereal and fold it into the marshmallow mixture until it’s all thoroughly coated.
Press the treats into a buttered 8×8 pan.
Let them cool and set for at least an hour or so. Cut into squares and serve.
I don’t mean to brag*, but these treats? People went back for seconds. And thirds. And demanded the recipe. there may have been gushing. Not a bad result for a 5-ingredient dessert made in 10 minutes.