Growing up, we did not own an electric mixer, so this budding baker had to find recipes that were easily made by hand. That is how rice krispie treats came to play a starring role in my repertoire of goodies. Just a few ingredients, some stirring with my little hands, and I was able to produce a sweet treat that the whole family loved. I still love those treats today, but have grown a bit tired of the cereal. I mean, rice krispies are fine and all — but we can do SO much better, right?
This marshmallow bar is destined to kick those munchies to the curb! The recipe is basically just how you remembered it — melted butter and marshmallows, combined with your “mix-ins,” pressed into a pan, and cut into bars. Simple. Except, for these bars, I browned the butter before adding the marshmallows — and the nutty, toasty flavor of the browned butter adds something so extra special.
In place of the cereal, I combined three of my favorite snacks — kettle-style potato chips, pretzel twists, and Ritz crackers — to put the bars right into that salty-sweet and crunchy territory that all us snackers dream of. I also added a drizzle of melted chocolate at the end, but this is purely optional. Or is it?
Savory Marshmallow Bars
- 4 cups pretzel twists, plus extra for decorating if desired
- 4 cups kettle-styled potato chips
- 4 cups crackers (I used Ritz)
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 20 ounces marshmallows
- 2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
- Spray a 9″ x 13″ pan with cooking spray. Line the pan in both directions with foil, waxed paper, or parchment, leaving enough overhang in both directions to form a “sling.” Spray again.
- Place the pretzels in a heavy-duty zip-top bag. Use a rolling pin to lightly crush them (do not overdo this; you want small to medium pieces, not crumbs). Transfer the pretzels to a large bowl and repeat with the potato chips and crackers.
- Melt the butter over medium-low heat. When it turns clear and golden, watch carefully and begin stirring — be sure to scrape up any bits that form at the bottom of the pan. As soon as the butter turns brown and smells nutty, remove it from the heat. Add the marshmallows and stir until completely melted.
- Transfer the marshmallow mixture to your bowl, and stir until pieces are completely coated. Immediately pour into your prepared pan, and use greased hands to press firmly and evenly into the bottom, sides, and corners. Decorate with whole pretzels, if desired, and cool completely. Using your “sling,” transfer the bar to a cutting board and cut into squares.
- Optional: Melt chocolate chips in the top half of a double boiler set over barely simmering water. Use a fork or spoon to drizzle over your bars. Let set.