Those who know my Mom know one thing for sure--the lady can flat-out cook. I suppose raising six kids means you're in the kitchen A LOT. And with four of those six being boys, um...yeah, she was literally in the kitchen all the time, whippin' up something.
(Here's Mom with Finn last summer on our family vacay at OBX.)
One thing my Mom (Trudy) is known for (at least in our family) is her Rice Krispie Treats. I remember her making them waaaay back. We'd have them after school, for birthday treats, church potlucks, you name it...whenever Trudy made a batch, they never lasted long. Somewhere along her culinary journey of life (I think it was about 10 years ago or so), my Mom changed something about how she made her famous treats. At first I was VERY skeptical. I mean, why mess with perfection, right? But believe it or not, the change Trudy made only made her famous treats even better. What could this miraculous change be, you ask? Two words: BROWN BUTTER.
Oh and just for the record, if you make these treats, you better not have a problem with butter 'cause you will be using a lot.
Paula ain't got nothin' on Trudy.
I've not known of anyone else browning their butter before adding the marshmallows (this is possibly Trudy's amazing secret discovery!) but let me tell ya...it's what makes it. But BE CAREFUL! It's really easy to burn. Think: slow and steady. Low temp. And just cook it. And stir. For like 10 minutes. You'll gradually see it changing before your very eyes.
See how it's separated? And see how there are little brown pieces in it? That's perfect. You'll be able to tell your butter has reached the perfect consistency when you can smell it. It smells different. Almost takes on a nutty smell. Maybe. Or maybe I'm a little nutty. (I probably could have used a bit more marshmallows, as mine were literally swimming in butter. Oh darn.)
Keep stirring on low heat (I even shut off my stove a couple times to prevent burning)
Stir until everything is incorporated. Oh...wanna know another secret of Trudy's? She adds vanilla extract to the marshmallow mixture.
After everything is all good and mixed, dump in your cereal. (And we always insist that Mom uses the actual Rice Krispies cereal. Can't go generic here.)
(sorry...kinda hard to stir and take pics)
Then press it in a greased 9x13 pan. (adding butter to the outside of a cup and pressing it in)
Once cooled, cut, then go to town.
So, what do ya think? You gonna try it? It's an easy classic recipe with a few tweaks that make it an amazing treat. I can't even stomach the thought of eating one of those prepackaged Rice Krispy Treats...I need butter in mine. Brown butter, baby.
(aka Brown Butter Vanilla Rice Krispie Treats)
1 1/2 sticks of butter
1 1/2-2 bags of marshmallows
10 cups Rice Krispies cereal
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Melt butter over low heat on stove. Once melted, stir occasionally to prevent burning. Cook butter until it turns darker and has a distinct smell (about 10-15 minutes). BE CAREFUL TO NOT BURN!
Add marshmallows and stir occasionally, turning off heat if needed. Add vanilla. Once all mixed, turn off heat and add cereal. Stir until coated. Press in 9x13 pan. Let cool. Cut in squares.