Ever since I was a kid, Rice Krispie treats have always held a special place in my heart! They’re so delicious, with their chewiness, the marshmallow sweetness, and the delectable taste of butter throughout! What’s not to like about them!?!
So, when I heard that there was some secret ingredient to make them better, I was instantly intrigued! Word on the street is that this special ingredient enhances the chewiness and sweetness while helping them retain their softness to help them last longer! But, what’s better than butter and marshmallow?! What could this ingredient possibly be??
Sweetened. Condensed. Milk.
I know, I know, it seems impossible! Believe me, I had my fair share of doubts and disbeliefs. I figured the only way to truly test this theory was simple: a blind taste test! Lucky for me, I had three very willing judges which happened to be my mom, sister, and brother-in-law!
What I did was make two of the exact same batches of Rice Krispies, with the exception of adding sweetened condensed milk to one batch. I’m not even lying when I say this is probably the most exact I’ve ever been while baking! I made sure that everything I did to one batch I did to the other, even when it came to pressing the Rice Krispies into the pan.
When I gave it to my panel of judges, we decided to critique the treats on the chewiness, texture, presentation, and overall taste! I have to say that the reviews were across the board. My sister voted for the original, my brother-in-law voted for the new and improved, while my mom said she wasn’t a big fan of Rice Krispie treats to begin with… So, I’d say it was an even tie!
I have to say this was actually a super fun experiment! With the quarantine still taken effect and so many places closed, there’s really not a lot of things to do. This gave us a fun little Saturday night game that we got to talk about, discuss, and then thoroughly enjoy dessert unless you don’t really like Rice Krispie treats… I’m looking at you, Momma!
As for my own thoughts and opinions on the additional ingredient… I’m still unsure of its incredible ability. I do think it added a ton of rich, sweet sticky goodness to the marshmallow treats, however, because they were so soft, it took a long time for them to set up, and while I was cutting them, some kind of fell apart. I was able to smush them back together and they did look delicious!
2 bags of mini marshmallows
4 tablespoons of butter
5 cups of puffed rice cereal
1 teaspoon of vanilla
A dash of salt
1/2 cup of sweetened condensed milk, optional
Begin by setting up the pan the Rice Krispies will go into. I spray an 8-inch square pan with nonstick spray and then lay parchment paper down with about an inch hanging over the side. This acts as handles for me to pull the treats out! Then spray the parchment paper again, be sure to get the sides as well!
In the bottom of a dutch oven pot, begin to brown four tablespoons of butter. You want the heat at about medium, to slowly roast the butter. It’s going to turn into a nice deep caramel color, that’s how you know it’s perfect! If you are going to add in the sweetened condensed milk, add in it now! Let it cook for about a minute! Then add in one bag of mini marshmallows. Be sure to spray your spoon with nonstick spray as well! Nonstick spray is crucial when handling marshmallows! Once the marshmallows look all melted and ooey-gooey, add in the vanilla and salt. Next, add in the puffed rice cereal! Stir to combine! Remove the pot from the heat and add in about half a bag of mini marshmallows. Stir to combine and then pour into the lined square pan. I take an extra piece of parchment paper and lay it over the Rice Krispie pan and push down gently to help flatten and condense the Rice Krispies! This helps get a chewier treat!
Let cool and then cut into squares!
I did the exact same preparation for each batch of treats I made, but you can see that the batch with sweetened condensed milk seemed a lot larger! It was so fun to see the differences between the two batches! If you have some free time on your hands, I highly suggest a food experiment! It’s a delicious way to spend the day!