When I saw this recipe for Caramel Marshmallow Popcorn, I just knew I had to make it. Rice Krispies Treats are one of my favorite snacks, and well, you all know how much I love popcorn. The only thing is, I noticed in a couple of the comments that the popcorn would get really, really hard after it cooled down, and I wanted something more like the softer texture of Rice Krispies treats rather than caramel corn.
I figured the reason it was getting hard was the addition of brown sugar, so I decided to stick with a more traditional Rice Krispies treat recipe with just marshmallows and butter. But I couldn't help tweaking it a bit based on my friend Ilene's Brown Butter Rice Krispies Treats post by first browning the butter and adding some vanilla bean and salt.
Brown Butter Marshmallow Popcorn
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1/2 vanilla bean
1 10 oz. bag mini marshmallows
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
9 cups popped popcorn (unpopped kernels removed)
In a large pot, melt the butter on low heat.
Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise, and scrape out the seeds. Add to the melted butter.
Continue to cook the butter on low until the milk solids start to brown.
Remove from heat, add the salt and mini marshmallows and stir to combine.
Return the pot to low heat and stir to completely melt the marshmallows.
Once the marshmallows have completely melted, add the popcorn and stir to combine.
Line a baking dish with parchment paper and spray with baking spray. Pour the popcorn into the dish and allow to cool.
The cooled popcorn never got as crunchy as Rice Krispies Treat do, but that might be because I didn't use a full 9 cups of popcorn and the popcorn to marshmallow ratio was off. I really loved how the vanilla bean and browned butter brought the marshmallows and popcorn to a-whole-nother level. When I make this again, I'd probably add more salt and maybe some butter flavoring to reinforce the popcorn flavor (as well as make sure I have enough popcorn to start off with). Or just use a bag of butter flavored microwave popcorn! =)