One of my all time favorite treats as a kid was homemade Rice Krispie treats – they’re super easy to make, definitely kid friendly, and so delicious. Good news: there is absolutely no reason you can’t enjoy them as an adult either. While I love them as is, I set out to reinterpret them using our Buttered Popcorn instead of crispy cereal.
Not only was I going to reinvent my childhood treats using popcorn, but I wanted to up the gourmet factor and use browned butter instead of regular melted. My world pretty much changed the day I had my first taste of brown butter. It was in carrot puree form at the time, but since then, I’ve swapped it in when making bread, cake, cookies, you name it. Browning the butter gives it a whole other dimension; it almost takes on a nutty characteristic (something that I miss since I’m allergic to all nuts). It just takes a few minutes more than melting, and I promise you it’s totally worth the effort.
Popcorn Marshmallow Bars
• 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for coating the pan
• 1 10.5 ounce bag mini marshmallows
• 8 cups Buttered Popcorn
1. Butter an 8-inch square cake pan and set aside.
2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium low heat. You want to develop browned bits in the butter but you do not want to burn it – trust me the line between browned and burnt is very thin so just stay near the pot during this step. The butter will melt, then foam, then turn a clearish-golden color before it starts to develop little brown bits at the bottom of the pan. It will smell nutty as well. This is when you have reached the perfect stopping point (this process will take several minutes).
3. Remove from the heat and stir in the marshmallows. Continue stirring until they are melted and everything is nice and smooth. You may have to put the pan back on low heat to get the marshmallows to melt.
4. Stir in the popcorn and do your best to evenly coat the kernels.
5. Spread the mixture into prepared cake pan. You want to pat everything down so it’s even in the pan and this can be a pain because marshmallows are so sticky! If you spray a piece of parchment paper or waxed paper with nonstick spray, this will make the spreading much easier.
6. Let cool, cut into squares and enjoy!
You can play around with this recipe and drizzle chocolate or caramel on top, experiment with different popcorn flavors, and even mix in other fun items – maybe you want to try a Rice Krispie / popcorn hybrid. Have fun with it, check out our gift baskets and other popcorn flavors!