Cooking · Sweets

Brown Butter and Vanilla Bean Rice Krispie Treats for Band Camp

I’m at band camp. With 52 teenagers. It’s been swell. We packed up all of their things (and in the case of the girls, there were lots of things to pack for a 1-night trip), sleeping bags, instruments, drums, music stands and them on a bus. We travelled to another town. We unloaded. We rehearsed. We had a Bingo Dance Party. I had to deal with kids trying to push the limits. I got to play poker with kids who were just happy to be at camp together. Girls giggled until all hours of the morning. Boys played sports. Nobody got sick. The kids spent oodles of time in sectionals and band rehearsals, and will hopefully leave today better musicians and more ready for music festival. I think they’ll also leave with loads of happy, fond memories of that one time at band camp. And their band teacher? I need a nap, but I’m pretty happy with how things turned out too.

Best idea ever was to do band camp with my band kids. Want to know the  next best idea? Brown Butter and Vanilla Bean Rice Krispie Treats. I made them for band camp because I knew there’d be treats served with our meals that I wouldn’t be able to eat. There’s a kid who plays trombone that is also lactose-intolerant. I thought I’d do us both a favor – it sure is lame to watch everyone else indulge! Little did everyone else know that the band teacher and the trombone player had the best kept secret of band camp.

Brown Butter and Vanilla Bean Rice Krispie Squares

Yield: 1, 9 X 12 pan

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cooking Time: 20 minutes | Cooling Time: 30 minutes


1 cup lactose-free butter (margarine will not produce the same results)
1/2 vanilla bean
20 oz marshmallows (I used home-made)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
9 cups crispy rice cereal


1. Spray a 9 X 13 ” pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

2. In a heavy saucepan melt butter over low heat.

3. Scrape the seeds of the vanilla bean into the melted butter.

4. Patiently wait for the butter to brown. It will first melt, then begin to bubble and foam. Eventually it will turn brown and start to smell nutty. Watch closely though, because it can turn from lovely and brown to awful and burned very quickly.

4. Once the butter has browned, add the marshmallows and salt. Mix continuously until the marshmallows have completely melted.

5. When the marshmallows are melted and creamy, remove from heat. Add the crispy rice cereal and stir until all cereal is evenly coated with marshmallow.

6. Pour into the greased pan. Using a spatula that has also been sprayed with cooking spray, spread the mixture to the edges of the pan until cereal is level.

7. Refrigerate until cool. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days if they last that long.

(Adapted from Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats by A Thought for Food at


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