Recipe Review

These Rice Krispies Treats Have a Secret Ingredient (It Keeps Them Soft for Days)

published Apr 18, 2021
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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Anna Stockwell

A couple of years ago, Kitchn’s Editor-in-Chief, Faith Durand, picked up an ingenious tip for better Rice Krispies treats from former Meme’s Diner owner Libby Willis: Add sweetened condensed milk. Not only does it give the treats an extra-milky flavor and ultra-gooey texture, but it also helps them keep that soft texture for days after they’re made.

When considering our lineup for our Rice Krispies treats showdown, I knew we had to include a recipe with sweetened condensed milk to see how it compared. Chowhound’s version, created by cookbook author and recipe developer Jessie Sheehan, looked too good to pass up. Not only does it call for sweetened condensed milk, but it also uses a full stick of butter, an additional cup of mini marshmallows, vanilla extract, and a generous spoonful of sea salt. Here’s what happened when I gave it a try.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Anna Stockwell

How to Make Chowhound’s Rice Krispies Treats

Before making the treats, grease an 8×8-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray or butter. Then, melt the butter on the stove in a large pot over medium heat. Add sweetened condensed milk and stir continuously until uniformly combined with the butter. Add mini marshmallows and stir until melted and smooth. Stir in vanilla extract and fine sea salt. Remove from the heat. Stir in the cereal and remaining cup of mini marshmallows. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt, if desired.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and press down lightly with plastic wrap. Let sit at room temperature for at least an hour before cutting and serving.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Anna Stockwell

My Honest Review of Chowhound’s Rice Krispies Treats

I like the idea of adding sweetened condensed milk to keep Rice Krispies treats from hardening, but I found it almost went too far; it really softened the crispiness of the cereal. I didn’t actually realize how much I crave the firm, crisp bite of a Rice Krispies treat until it wasn’t there. If these treats had been crispier, I would have been blown away by this recipe.

There were a lot of aspects I really enjoyed, though, like stirring in an additional cup of whole marshmallows at the end (hello, gooey pockets of marshmallow!) and the vanilla extract. And while I was initially worried these treats would be too salty, considering there’s a full teaspoon of fine sea salt mixed into the treats and flaky sea salt sprinkled on top, that wasn’t the case at all! The salt, along with a full stick of butter, helped balance the serious sweetness of the marshmallows and sweetened condensed milk.

I will also say that these treats really grew on my as the days went on. While most Rice Krispies treats become more firm and eventually too hard to eat, these stayed soft and gooey for nearly a full week. So if you’re looking for Rice Krispies treats you can make in advance (or mail to a friend), or you prefer a super-soft treat, this is a great option.

Credit: Kelli Foster

If You Make Chowhound’s Rice Krispies Treats, a Few Tips

  1. Use the butter wrapper to press the treats into the pan. Hang on to the butter wrapper! Instead of using plastic wrap to press the treats into the pan, as the recipe calls for, use the leftover butter wrapper. It makes easy work of this final step without any sticking.
  2. Top with flaky salt. The recipe includes the option to top the treats with flaky salt, and I say go for it! You won’t regret it.

Rating: 8/10

Have you made Chowhound’s Rice Krispies Treats? Tell us what you thought!