I’m always looking for fun treat ideas for our backpacking and floating trips. Being that we camp with Neil’s mostly male friends, I’m fortunate that they give their opinions almost involuntarily, while still gobbling everything regardless of if they like it or not. As anyone familiar to backpacking or floating knows, the less leftovers you have to bring home, the better.
After making my Brown Butter Butterscotch Banana Bread a few months back, I concluded that in all but a few cases, browning butter is better than simply melting it. It gives it a richer, almost nutty flavor and brings out the other ingredients of baked goods, sauces or select vegetables. As an avid lover of the old-school Rice Krispies treat, I felt browned butter would kick the simple flavor up a notch, and coupled with cinnamon, make it the perfect treat for a night next to the campfire.
8 ounces butter, salted or unsalted (if using unsalted butter, you’ll need 1/4 teaspoon salt added with the marshmallows in step 3)
1 10.5-ounce bag marshmallows
1 12-ounce box Rice Krispies cereal (I actually used a little less than a full box, so add slowly)
1-2 teaspoons cinnamon
1. Line a 9- by 13-inch pan with parchment or wax paper. Butter or grease well.
2. In a large pot, melt butter slowly over medium-low heat. Carefully move the saucepan around to melt and move the butter, but do not stir. Allow to foam until it subsides, then remove from heat and set aside once it goes from golden to brown.
3. Once the butter is evenly browned, add the marshmallows, stirring to mix. If you used unsalted butter, now is the time to add the salt. Add the cinnamon at this time. Continue to stir and cook until the marshmallows melt down and the mixture turns a light shade of brown, about 3-5 minutes.
4. Remove the pot from heat, stir in Rice Krispies and quickly mix well, using a rubber spatula or silicone spoon. Spoon into prepared pan. Butter or oil your rubber spatula or silicone spoon and press lightly to flatten into pan evenly. Allow to cool for 15-20 minutes and slice into squares to serve.
It doesn’t get much easier than that. They were by far the best I’ve ever made, with full credit going to the switch to browned butter and cinnamon. They were a hit with the guys (and one girl) as well, and we polished the whole batch on the short overnight trip. I found myself laying each of mine on the warm logs of the campfire and softening them to make them gooey and soft again. A completely new take on a classic treat we’ll definitely be making again soon!
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