Rice Krispies Treats Are The Perfect Summer Dessert

Food Features Rice Krispies treat
Rice Krispies Treats Are The Perfect Summer Dessert

For those who enjoy baked goods (and those who enjoy baking said goods at home), summer can be a disappointing time of year. When temperatures keep creeping upward, the last thing you want to do is turn on your oven. Of course, there are plenty of desserts you can make at home that don’t require any baking, but they may not satisfy that desire for something cookie-, muffin- or cake-like.

Enter the Rice Krispies treat, otherwise known as the perfect summer dessert. These treats can scratch that itch for a baked treat, but no actual baking is required. In fact, all you really have to do is mix Rice Krispies, butter, marshmallows and any other ingredients you’re using together, put them into a pan and allow them to set in the fridge.

Traumatized by the overly sweet Rice Krispies treats of your childhood? You’re not alone. The packaged version of this snack is irredeemably, cloyingly sweet, and you may want something a bit more balanced to snack on. Luckily, when you make your own Rice Krispies treats, you can easily control the sweetness and balance of flavors. Check out these tips that’ll help you take your Rice Krispies treat game to the next level.

1. Add a Savory Element

There’s no easier way to upgrade a basic Rice Krispies treat recipe than to add a savory element to the mix. This savory ingredient can be just about anything snacky and salty. Personally, I think ridged potato chips are your best bet here, as they’re intensely salty and lend a crunch to the crisp of the cereal. Chips with ridges don’t crumble as easily as their thinner counterparts, so they’re less likely to turn to dust when you’re mixing all the ingredients together.

2. Dip (Or Stir) in Some Chocolate

Just because Rice Krispies treats are already sweet on their own doesn’t mean you can’t add another sweet element that gives the dessert some extra flavor. Chocolate is the way to go. Perhaps the easiest way to incorporate chocolate into your treats is by simply stirring some chocolate chips into the cereal and marshmallow mixture, but if you’re looking for more of a visual appeal, consider dipping the treats in some melted chocolate. You can submerge the treats so they’re entirely covered in a layer of chocolate, or you can just half-dip them for a slightly less-chocolatey finished product.

3. Give Your Rice Krispies Treats a Pop of Color

If you’re just snacking on your Rice Krispies treats at home, you may not care much if they’re colorful or social media-worthy. On the other hand, if you’re bringing them to an event or serving them to guests, adding a pop of color can be a nice touch. One super easy way to do this? Just add some sprinkles into the “batter.” Alternatively, you could also include some Lucky Charms marshmallows in the mix, as they won’t change the flavor profile too drastically and also kind of capitalize on the nostalgic vibe this dessert has going for it.

4. Try Using Other Types of Cereal

You don’t have to stop at the Lucky Charms marshmallows if you want to include other cereals in the mix. Technically, you don’t have to use Rice Krispies at all, although they work well as a neutral base you can build on flavor-wise. Add some of your other favorite cereals into the “batter,” or just sub a different type of cereal completely. Cheerios, Cocoa Puffs and Corn Flakes also make great bases for this dessert.

5. Don’t Forget the Salt

Whether you’re considering including a savory element in your Rice Krispies treats or not, adding a dash of salt to the mix can really transform your recipe. This salt balances out the intense sweetness from the other ingredients—particularly the marshmallows—and creates a more delicious finished product, regardless of whether you’re aiming for a salty-sweet flavor combo.

Samantha Maxwell is a food writer and editor based in Boston. Follow her on Twitter at @samseating.

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