By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Apr 21, 2020 at 10:01 AM Photography: Lori Fredrich

The coronavirus pandemic has changed our everyday life, but it doesn't need to change who we are. So, in addition to our ongoing coverage of the coronavirus, OnMilwaukee will continue to report on cool, fun, inspiring and strange stories from our city and beyond. Stay safe, stay healthy, stay informed and stay joyful. We're all in this together. #InThisTogetherMKE

Welcome to Quarantine Kitchen, a cooking show focused on tips and easy recipes you can execute in your home kitchen using basic ingredients and pantry staples. The show airs live on Facebook every Sunday at 1:30 p.m. Tune in by heading to the OnMilwaukee Facebook page.  [View past episodes and recipes here]

This week, I shared a recipe for the ultimate quarantine comfort food: ultra creamy macaroni & cheese as well as these amazing browned butter (and rosemary) Rice Krispies treats.

This recipe has been a staple in our house, particularly during the summer months, for at least ten years. At that time, using browned butter and a typically savory herb in a sweet dessert was a pretty novel idea; but I was a young cook and tended to be somewhat adventurous with flavors.

I created this recipe on a whim and took it to a family picnic. When it got rave reviews from both adults and children alike, I knew I had happened upon something pretty special. My hope is that you'll feel the same.

These bars are amazing when you include the fresh rosemary. But the browned butter flavor alone will take your simple crisped rice treats to the next level, guaranteed.

If you missed the episode, you can watch it here:

Browned butter (and rosemary) Rice Krispies treats

Makes one 9x13 pan

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 10-oz bags of mini marshmallows
1 ½ T chopped fresh rosemary - optional, but highly recommended
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
9 cups crisped rice cereal

  1. Grease a 9x13 pan with butter or cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Add the butter to a large saucepan set over medium heat. 
  3. Once the butter is melted, it will begin to bubble and foam and then subside. Keep a close eye on it at this point. Watch carefully and stir gently as the butter begins to color. When you see the butter turning the color of amber, smell it. As it browns, it will release a deliciously nutty aroma. Be cautious, since butter can turn from browned to blackened in a matter of moments. 
  4. Once the butter is browned, turn down the heat to low, add the rosemary, along with all of the marshmallows, the vanilla and the salt. Stir the mixture constantly until the marshmallows are completely melted.
  5. Turn off the heat under the pan and add the cereal. Use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to mix thoroughly, coating the cereal evenly with the buttery, marshmallow liquid. 
  6. Spread the mixture in an even layer in the prepared baking pan. Wet your hands with water to gently smooth the top (the water will prevent the treats from sticking to your hands). Allow the bars to cool for at least an hour before cutting and serving.

Treats are best kept in an airtight container and served within 3-4 days.

Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.