Toasted Coconut & Caramel Rice Krispies Treats
- 2/3 cup unsweetened grated coconut
- 6 cups puffed rice cereal aka Rice Krispies
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 5 cups miniature marshmallows, divided use
- 10 soft caramels like Kraft or Brach’s
- 2-3 tablespoons whole milk
- Butter a 13x9 baking dish. Set aside.
- In a dry skillet, over medium heat, toast the coconut. Allow to cool. Reserve 3 tablespoons coconut and mix the rest of the coconut with the cereal.
- Melt the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed, whisk in the vanilla. Add 4 cups of marshmallows and stir until completely melted.
- Add the puffed rice cereal/coconut mixture and the remaining 1 cup of marshmallows. Stir until well coated.
- Press the mixture evenly into the prepared baking dish using the back of a spoon.
- Meanwhile, melt the caramels and milk over low heat, whisking until smooth. Drizzle over the treats. Sprinkle with remaining coconut.
- Cool completely before cutting into squares. This always takes a lot longer (at least an hour, normally more like 2) than you'd think so be prepared.
- Slice into about 20 squares.
- Stirring in whole marshmallows with the cereal gives you big, soft pockets of marshmallow in every bite.
- If the caramel is too thick, whisk in a little extra milk.
It’s been freakishly warm for November. I totally misjudged this when I went grocery shopping and ended up making chicken pot pie and long baking yapchik when it was in the ‘70s. I course corrected by making Rice Krispies Treats instead of the brownies or cake I had been thinking about making.
The great thing about Rice Krispies treats is that nothing is fresh. I know we are all supposed to worship at the alter of freshness but there is truly something to be said about making something delicious on a whim from ingredients you have right on hand. Homemade Rice Krispies Treats, much like homemade Chex Mix are much better than the pre-packed stuff and you can control the final product.
I like toasting coconut in a dry skillet vs the oven because it burns so easily. You can even toast up some extra and keep on hand for other dishes. It smells so good while its toasting too. For this recipe I used packaged soft caramels because I had them leftover from making caramel apples and they are much easier. Plus, like the other ingredients you can keep a bag on the shelf for months.
The combination of caramel and coconut is so autumnal to me, it’s so weary and toasty and cozy. It also reminds me of fancy coconut macaroons or Samoas. I was tempted to really gild the lily and add a drizzle of chocolate but I’m glad I didn’t, this was really the best balance. It didn’t need chocolate, which is very difficult for me to admit, but it’s true.