6 cup crisped rice cereal (aka Rice Krispies)
1 cup plain or multicolored mini dehydrated vanilla marshmallows*
6 tablespoons butter
2 10-oz bags mini marshmallows
1 teaspoon vanilla
Butter a 9×13 inch pan. Set aside.
In a large bowl, toss together the cereal and dehydrated marshmallows. Set aside.
In a large, heavy-bottomed pan, melt the butter. Stir in 1 1/2 bags marshmallows and vanilla. Stir until they are fully melted. Turn the heat to the lowest setting. Stir in the cereal mixture. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining half bag of mini marshmallows. Immediately scrape into the prepared baking dish. Very gently, smooth it out so it is an even layer without pressing down and compressing the mixture. Allow to cool at room temperature until firm enough to cut into squares. Turn out the dish and cut into squares. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.
*I bought these in bulk at a farm stand/old fashioned candy store while on a road trip but they are also available on Amazon.
Rice Krispie Treats, 1980s commercial aside, are one of the easiest desserts you can make yet still I find myself tweaking the recipe. The back of the box recipe is fine but they can be a little dense. A bakery near us makes huge, thick squares of Rice Krispies Treats that are very good, soft and marshmallow-y but cost roughly the same as a whole box of cereal for one treat. It was worth it to try once but I can’t bring myself to keep buying them when they make a whole slew of delights I can’t or won’t make at home.
Thus began my quest to make an extra-marshmallow-y, extra soft treat. Not surprisingly, the trick is to add way more marshmallows than you’d think. Not only did I up the amount I melted by half, I also stirred in some more marshmallows at the very end so they don’t fully melt and leave marshmallow pockets. This is twice as many marshmallows as the official recipe! Then I added even more marshmallows in the form of dehydrated marshmallows (don’t worry, they soften up). The dehydrated marshmallows added a bit more flavor and texture to the bars. The whole thing came together to make one super marshmallow-y, very vanilla Rice Krispie Treat.
Note: I did use generic marshmallows and “crisped rice” cereal I purchased at Aldi for this recipe. I don’t like Jet-Puffed marshmallows and I can’t tell the difference when it comes to the cereal. The marshmallows are only 88¢ a bag and the box of cereal (I only used half!) was $ 1.29. You can’t beat that.