I am going to start off with saying, this is a really sweet treat. I mean, there is like a whole bag of marshmallows in this thing so...yeah. You probably shouldn't eat all of this by yourself and maybe brush your teeth a little better in the evening after eating this. You've been warned! Health aside (ha), these treats are tasty little things that brought me back to my childhood.
I haven't had Rice Krispie Treats in years and I've been thinking about them over the last week so I finally gathered up all the ingredients and made some. Except that I didn't use Rice Krispies. Rice Krispies contain barley malt which isn't gluten free so I used gluten free cornflakes instead. Honestly, they are just as good as the treats made with rice cereal. Plus I like cornflakes so the switch wasn't such a big deal for me and I have made weirder things with cornflakes.
Honestly, these are delicious. It has the perfect amount of crunch from the cornflakes and there is the perfect amount of gooey marshmallows holding everything together. Some cereal treats have too much cereal in them so they feel a little dry and hard to bite into but these were the perfect balance of crunch and gooey. It's a quick, easy, and tasty treat to throw together. I've seen recipes where you can jazz it up with some peanut butter, cinnamon, or you can dip the squares in chocolate. I've even seen a cake make out of Rice Krispie Treats! I think the next time I have people over for a party or a get together, these will definitely be on the menu.
Marshmallow Cornflake Treats (slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen & Ree Drummond)
Fills 1 8-inch square pan, about 16 treats
4 tbsp unsalted butter
6 1/2 cups cornflakes or rice cereal
1 tsp vanilla extract
sprinkles to decorate
Place a sheet of parchment paper over your square pan. This will make it easier to remove the cereal treats later on.
In a large pot, melt and brown the unsalted butter over medium heat. First let it melt, then the butter will bubble and foam, then it will turn a clear golden color before it starts to become brown and smell nutty. Throughout the whole melting process, continuously stir the butter with a wire whisk to prevent the butter from burning. As soon as the butter turns a light brown, take it off the heat. (Or you can also just melt 4 tbsp of salted butter and skip this whole browning step.)
Pour the marshmallows into the browned butter and stir until the marshmallow have melted into a thick white fluffy mixture. Pour in the vanilla extract and mix it into the marshmallows. If the marshmallows aren't melting from the residual heat of the browned butter, place the pot back on a low heat and stir until the marshmallows are smooth.
Once the marshmallows have melted, stir in the salt and the cornflakes. Add more cereal if you think it is too gooey. Spread the marshmallow cereal mixture into the prepared pan. With a piece of parchment paper, press the mixture into the pan so that it is firm and evenly spread out. And if you feel like it, sprinkle some nonpareils or confetti quinns over the marshmallow cornflake treat and gently press them into the mixture with parchment paper again.
Let the treats cool completely (I popped them in the fridge 15 minutes or so), and then cut into squares. Enjoy and share some with your friends!