Salted Caramel Rice Krispies take a simple, sweet standby and turn it into a fragrant, swoon-worthy treat. The best part is, it only takes a wee bit more effort than traditional Rice Krispies.
One Treat, Three Methods
There are several ways you can make these beauties, and it all starts with the irresistible buttery sauce that binds the Rice Krispies together into chewy, melt-in-your-mouth goodness.
One way to go about it is by making a luscious caramel sauce and adding flaked sea salt which dissolves easily and tastes marvelous. Simply heat plain white sugar in a pan until it melts, stirring often, then continue heating it until it browns beautifully but does not burn. Add butter, whipping cream, and corn syrup, then pile in a mound of marshmallows until they melt, stir in the Rice Krispies, press the mixture into a pan, and sprinkle lightly with more sea salt. Chill, then cut into squares when ready to eat.
Another is the science experiment way of submerging a can of sweetened condensed milk in boiling water for an hour until it transforms into dulce de leche. Once that creamy decadence cools, remove it from the tin, warm it up again, and add the marshmallows and 1 teaspoon of flaked sea salt before proceeding as above. If the mixture is too thick, add heavy whipping cream and melted butter until it’s just runny enough to coat the Rice Krispies.
A third way is the one I did today. It’s a cheaters sort of salted caramel that skips the browning sugar step and uses lovely dark brown sugar instead. Simply melt butter in a pan, then add dark brown sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, sea salt, and heavy cream. Simmer it gently until it thickens into a smooth sauce, then add the marshmallows and proceed as with the other two options.
Top It All Off
While Salted Caramel Rice Krispies are good enough all on their own, you can take the wow factor up a notch with some tasty additions. Try mixing in fruits such as dried cherries, slivers of dried apricots, or cubes of dried pears. Add in a handful of fresh coconut shavings, or roughly chop some dark chocolate — 70-80 percent is marvelous — and stir that into the mixture.
Roasted nuts are another fine option, especially when they’re salted so they offset the sweet of the Rice Krispies. Try chunky nuts that give a good crunch and bite like almonds, Brazil nuts, or hazelnuts, or make the nutty taste a bit more subtle by finely chopping walnuts, pecans, or macadamia nuts before stirring them in. Give your nutty Rice Krispies an added dimension by roasting the nuts with herbs such as rosemary or fresh thyme leaves. The fragrance and flavor they bring is truly wonderful.
If the Rice Krispies mixture cools too quickly to stir in your additions, turn them into a topping instead. Press them firmly into the top of the Rice Krispies and they will stay put, or hold them in place with a generous drizzle of melted dark chocolate.
Salted Caramel Rice Krispies Treats
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 tablespoon corn syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 3/4 teaspoon flaked sea salt
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 10 ounces marshmallows
- 6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Set aside.
Pour Rice Krispies into large mixing bowl. Set aside.
In medium saucepan over medium high heat, melt butter. Add remaining ingredients, except marshmallows and Rice Krispies, and bring to a simmer, stirring often to keep from burning. Let it simmer for 5-8 minutes until thick and smooth.
Add marshmallows and stir in well until they start to melt. Remove from heat and continue stirring until completely melted.
Pour immediately over Rice Krispies and stir until thoroughly mixed.
Scrape into prepared pan and pack into place with a piece of waxed paper.
Sprinkle with sea salt, if desired, then chill until set and cut into pieces.