Baking dessert One-Ingredient Upgrades Tips&Techniques

How to Make the Gooiest Stay-Soft-for-Days Rice Krispies Treats

We can pretty much all agree that Rice Krispies treats are nearly perfect. The delightful contrast between chewy and crunchy, and sweet and salty make them fun to eat no matter your age. Plus, they’re easy to adapt to nearly any dietary preference. So when I heard about a one-ingredient upgrade to this classic bake-sale treat, I was skeptical to say the least.

Perhaps, like me, you already have a favorite method for dressing up classic homemade Rice Krispies treats. Maybe you’re browning the butter until it has a nutty caramel-like flavor, or maybe you toast the cereal to keep it super crispy under the weight of extra marshmallows. You’ve probably added the now required flaky salt and vanilla extract. Maybe you’ve even made them pumpkin spice-flavored. I’ve tried all those too, and I’m here to shout from the rooftops: There’s a one-ingredient upgrade for more flavorful, stay-soft-for-days Rice Krispies treats that you haven’t tried yet.

Why Sweetened Condensed Milk Is the Perfect Addition

Hear me out: Adding sweetened condensed milk when making homemade Rice Krispies treats sounds weird. Yet it totally transforms this classic treat. When you add it to the butter and marshmallow mixture, the sweetened condensed milk provides an extra-milky flavor and ultra-gooey texture. And Rice Krispies treats made with sweetened condensed milk stay softer for longer.

Kitchn’s Editor-in-Chief, Faith Durand, was the first person to suggest this addition to me, but she learned this smart tip from Meme’s Diner chef-owner Libby Willis.

How to Add Sweetened Condensed Milk to Rice Krispies Treats

Sweetened condensed milk is likely sitting in your pantry right now, just waiting for its moment to shine. So here’s how to do it: Melt the butter for your Rice Krispies treats in a big pot or Dutch oven. (A big pot reduces splatter on your stovetop and makes mixing everything together much easier.) When the butter is bubbling, add 1/3 to 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk and stir to combine. I love a full 1/2 cup for the creamy flavor that it adds, but a 1/3 cup minimum will still get you the gooey texture we are after. Bring the sweetened condensed milk to a boil (this will happen really quickly) and cook for about a minute until it is fragrant. From here, add the marshmallows and vanilla extract and proceed with melting them and adding your cereal as you normally would.

Make sure you cool the Rice Krispies treats completely before cutting them into them; this version needs to fully cool before it is set enough for slicing. The wait will be worth it, though. These will be the best Rice Krispies treats you’ve ever had.

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