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brown butter and sea salt rice krispy bars.

Let me tell you how this madness started…

See that bag of marshmallows up there?

Yup, that one.

I found it sitting in the back of the shelf at the bottom of my pantry last week, leftover from last fall.

Whoops.  Marshmallows have a long shelf life, right?

I think this is a new level of frugality, using marshmallows that are 6 months old.  Just keeping it real.

So Emma and I figured we’d throw caution to the wind and cook the heck out of some butter, until it got all nice and brown…

Toss in those forgotten marshmallows until they become a hot, sticky, brown buttery mess…

…then add some Crisp Rice cereal and sea salt.  I used fine sea salt but wish we would have used course for a little extra salty crunch.

A fresh take on an old-school classic.  Perfect for bake sales, soccer practices, and lunch bags everywhere!

Brown Butter and Sea Salt Rice Krispy Bars

(Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

(Makes 20-24 bars)

1 stick unsalted butter

1 bag (10 ounces) marshmallows

5 cups rice krispy cereal

1/2 teaspoon course sea salt, plus more for finishing if you like


Grease a 9×13 inch pan.

In a large pot melt the butter over medium-low heat until it starts to brown (it will first melt, them foam, then become clear and brown).  Stir often, scraping any bits off the bottom of the pan as you go.

Turn heat to low and stir in marshmallows until combined.

Remove from heat and stir in salt and cereal.  Spread into prepared pan, cool, then cut.  I added a little extra sea salt on top for finishing.

TOTAL:  $4.70 or $.20 per bar (if you make 24 bars).

Wondering how on earth I arrived at these costs?  Take a look at my shopping guide to show see what I pay for items, per serving, etc.


94 calories per bar (based on 24 bars)

4 grams of fat

15 carbs

.5 grams protein (well that’s something…)

Mosey on over to Facebook and let me know what you think!

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7 Comments Post a comment
  1. Are you kidding me with this?! The three things I love most: brown butter, sweet and salty. And so simple! Thanks for sharing this.

    March 20, 2012
  2. You are hilarious….
    Even I am tempted to make this one!

    March 21, 2012
  3. Beware: we have had old marshmallows that refused to melt. Six months isn’t that old on the marshmallow scale though. (We don’t have them anymore!) I won’t let Mom buy them unless she tells me exactly what she wants to use them for.

    March 26, 2012
    • What does Mom like to make with that require marshmallows? Do you do a lot of her cooking? And I’m really interested in knowing what exactly goes in a marshmallow…especially if it can have such a long shelf life 🙂

      March 28, 2012
      • Mom and I both cook. We live in the same house. I cook more than she does these days. Most marshmallows become rice crispie candy, which my (deceased) brother loved. I believe marshmallows are made mostly of corn syrup.

        March 28, 2012
  4. Katelyn #

    Approximately how long does it take for the butter to brown? I made these and grew impatient and added the marshmallows too early I think. The melted marshmallow mixtures did not look like your picture but they were delicious nonetheless!

    I’m obsessed with your blog and tell all my friends! I love the California inspiration to my Pittsburgh, PA life! Thanks!

    April 6, 2012
    • Katelyn,
      What’s up Pittsburgh PA!!! Love the shout out from the East Coast!
      Ok, this is just an estimate but I’d guess it was 7-10 minutes. I should do it again and then update the post. Glad they were still good! I had a friend make them and she burnt the butter and I thought they were better than my original recipe!
      Thanks for the feedback.

      April 6, 2012

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