Extra marshmallows, premium butter, a splash of vanilla extract, and plenty of (optional!) sprinkles. That’s how I like my Rice Krispie Treats, and I think you’re going to love this gourmet twist on this classic treat, too!
I love a good classic recipe, but even more than that I love a new twist on a classic (which you’ve maybe picked up on if you’ve seen my “Worst” chocolate chip cookies). These Rice Krispie Treats are a classic, re-done.
I’ve made a few changes to upgrade this recipe to something much more gourmet than the lunchbox classics you might be used to. We’re using much more butter than the original recipe calls for (and I’m going to gently nudge to use European butter!). Real vanilla extract makes an appearance, as do lots of extra marshmallows. The end result is soft and chewy and full of flavor. Once you try these, there’s no going back.
I also add a handful of sprinkles — I love the color and texture that they add. I mostly used nonpareils here, but Zach doesn’t like the extra crunchiness of them. Regular sprinkles/jimmies would be less obvious texture-wise, so use whichever best suits your own preferences (or leave them out entirely!).
Rice Krispie Treats are easy to make. However, there are a few simple tips I wanted to share to make sure yours turn out perfectly soft and chewy (and not hard or crumbly!) every time.
- European butter is a plus, not a must. I love the flavor that it adds to baked goods and highly recommend using it here, but this recipe will also work with regular salted butter.
- Keep the heat on low, or below medium-low. Have you ever made an indoor S’more in the microwave and ended up with a marshmallow that was hard enough to break your teeth? Well, that’s what will happen if your marshmallow is exposed to heat that’s too high, so keep the heat on low to avoid rock hard Rice Krispie Treats.
- Add the sprinkles last and stir with a gentle hand, otherwise the color could bleed as you’re stirring.
- Don’t cram the cereal bars! gently spread them evenly into your prepared pan. If you pack them in too tightly then they could end up too dense, I like mine softer and chewy. When my grandmother would make these, she would just loosely spread them across a full-sized cookie sheet, no packing in at all. They look a little less uniform that way, but that’s definitely an option here, too!
Why Did They Turn Out Hard!?
The most likely culprit is the heat that you are using to cook them. As I mentioned above in my “Tips”, it’s important to you keep your heat below medium-low at all times. It can be tempting to speed up the process and crank up your heat, but if your marshmallows are exposed to too much heat, they’ll become tough once they cool. Slow on low heat is the way to go for soft, chewy Rice Krispie Treats!
Another problem could be using too much pressure when spreading them into your prepared pan. If you pack everything in too tightly, they’ll end up denser and harder than they should be. Use a silicone spatula to gently spread everything evenly into your pan.
Do They Need to be Refrigerated?
Nope! I actually recommend that you do not refrigerate for best flavor and texture. Refrigerating can dry them out and make them too hard and brittle. Store instead in an airtight container at room temperature for several days.
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Gourmet Rice Krispie Treats
- 6 Tablespoons European salted butter*, cut into 6 pieces 85g
- 15 oz miniature marshmallows this is generally 1 ½ bags (425g)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 6 cups Rice Krispies cereal (175g)
- 3 Tablespoons colored sprinkles optional
- Line a 13x9 pan with wax paper and set aside.
- Place butter in the bottom of a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir occasionally until butter is completely melted.
- Add 10 oz (one bag) of marshmallows and stir until just melted. Keep your heat below medium and stir frequently, this will take a bit of time for the marshmallows to melt but too-high heat can cause your rice krispie treats to come out too hard.
- Stir in vanilla extract, and then add rice krispies cereal and remaining marshmallows. Stir until ingredients are combined and additional marshmallows are just beginning to melt.
- Scatter sprinkles over the mixture and briefly stir to combine. Immediately transfer mixture to prepared 13x9 pan and use a silicone spatula or your hands to gently pat rice krispie treats down evenly into pan (don't over-handle them or this will also make them come out too hard).
- Allow Rice Krispie Treats to cool completely at room temperature before cutting and serving -- about 30-60 minutes.
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This recipe was originally published Jan 24th, 2018. Post updated to improve user experience by including more tips, photos, and a video on April 26th, 2019.