12ounceRice Krispies Cereal (1 small box)( 1 small box)
30ouncemini marshmallows (3 small bags)(divided, see notes)
½cup(1 stick) unsalted butter
2-4tablespoonssprinkles(for topping, optional)
Prep everything: using baking spray, grease your largest mixing bowl, your largest spatula, and a 9" by 13" pan very thoroughly (see notes). Set aside two cups of the mini marshmallows.
Set up your workspace: add the rice krispies and toss with 2 cups of marshmallows in the large greased bowl. Set your greased spatula with your bowl, have your 9"x13" greased pan within reach, and set a hot pad or cooling rack next to your bowl that you can set your hot marshmallow pan on. (Once the marshmallows melt, everything will set quickly so you want to make sure all your tools are ready to go!)
Brown the butter: over medium heat, melt the butter in a large pan (big enough to fit all the marshmallow) until it starts to sizzle. Continue to stir butter until sizzling stops and the milk solids (little specs in the bottom of the pan) start to brown. Continue stirring until all the specs have a deep amber color. (It's important to stir continuously to make sure your butter browns evenly!)
Melt marshmallows: once the butter is browned, dump in the 2 ½ bags of marshmallows and stir/fold them into the brown butter. Continue stirring constantly until all the marshmallows are fully melted and the mixture is smooth (no lumps remaining).
Stir in vanilla: About half-way through melting the marshmallows (or as soon as they're melted), stir in the vanilla extract.
Move to your work station: take your pot over to your pot holder or cooling rack and switch your cooking utensil for the greased spatula.
Mix marshmallows with krispies: pour melted marshmallows over rice krispies and use the greased spatula to fold them together quickly, until no dry pockets of rice krispies remain. (Be sure to get to the bottom of the bowl where the marshmallow puddles and you can smear the clumps back and forth to mix them if needed. And be careful - the marshmallows are really hot!)
Transfer quickly to pan: immediately scrape all of the krispie mixture into the prepared pan. Gently press it down into all the corners and flatten the top (you don't need to press down too firmly though or it'll make your krispies a little tough). You can do this with a spatula, or I even put a good deal of baking spray right on my hands and then use my hands to press the bars down into the pan and into all the sides and corners too.
Add the sprinkles: sprinkle the top immediately with sprinkles while the marshmallow is still sticky.
Cool, cut and enjoy! Allow the krispies to cool to room temperature, cut them to your desired size right in the pan, then serve to anyone and everyone to put a smile on their face!
Test Kitchen Tips
Big marshmallows: If you only have big marshmallows, those will work with two caveats: firstly, cut up the 2 cups that are going to be mixed with the cereal into at least four pieces each or more; secondly, just know it'll take a while for the bigger marshmallows to melt (but they will!) so just be patient and keep stirring throughout the melting process to prevent burning.
Grease it up good: It's important to grease the full bottom and the sides of the pan, and if you don't think you have a bowl big enough to mix in, you can use a roasting pan or even a large pot - whatever you have on hand that's big and can hold that really hot marshmallow goo!
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