Pumpkin spice rice krispie treats are ooey gooey, soft brown butter rice krispie treats that have a subtle pumpkin spice flavor. Add some chocolate spiders or white chocolate ghosts for the cutest and spookiest Halloween rice krispie treats!
You all have loved my fluffernutter rice krispie treats so much over the years, I thought it would be fun to make a fall-themed rice krispie treat recipe, too!
I'm not quiet about the fact that pumpkin and pumpkin spiced treats are not my favorite thing (apple desserts, FTW!), but I have to admit… these are pretty great. The combination of brown butter and pumpkin pie spice go really well together, and turn classic rice krispie treats into the perfect cozy fall dessert.
Why brown the butter?
Brown butter has a delightful nutty aroma and a depth of flavor that really takes your rice krispie treats up a notch. And it's perfect when paired with pumpkin spice!
In the second photo below, you're seeing the butter just before it turns a beautiful darker golden brown. I couldn't photograph it and stir it at the same time, so this was as close as I could get.
Once it changes color, you want to move onto the next step and add the marshmallows quickly and stir to combine – you don't want it to burn, because then you'll have burnt butter rice krispie treats and… you don't want that.
What kind of saucepan should I use?
I would normally recommend using a large nonstick pan or pot, but because we're browning the butter you want to be able to clearly see when it changes colorful. Nonstick pans are usually darker and would make that harder to see.
Instead, use a normal, lighter colored large saucepan that's at least 3 QT. Ideally it would have a white bottom to make it really easy to see.
If my Le Creuset dutch oven hadn't been in use at the time, I actually would have used that for these photos because it has a light-colored interior and it's easy to clean!
How to make the best rice krispie treats
Place parchment paper in the baking pan and spray with nonstick spray. This ensures they won't stick! Make sure there's a bit of overhang over the sides to make it easy to lift the bars out of the pan, too.
Use fresh marshmallows! I can't emphasize this enough. If you try to use a bag of mini marshmallows that have been hanging out in the back of your pantry since last Christmas and have the texture of little doorstops, they're not going to melt and it just plain won't work. New, squishy and soft marshmallows are essential!
And use fresh cereal, for that matter. Don't use stale cereal either, because you will notice.
Don't press them into the pan too tightly. You want to gently spread them out to evenly distribute them in the pan, but you're not trying to pack them down. The tighter the pack, the denser they'll be, which means less light and chewy. And we want light and chewy! You can spray your hands with a little nonstick spray and use your palms to gently press it down, or place another piece of parchment paper on top before using your hands to press it down.
Set aside 1 cup mini marshmallows to add at the end. Adding those extra marshmallows that haven't melted yet add a little extra fluff and chewiness to the final product.
How much pumpkin pie spice should I use?
If you want a subtle flavor, I recommend using 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice.
If you want it to really kick you in the face, add 2 teaspoons!
Tips for slicing rice krispie treat bars
I’m going to share a little secret with you: when I pull these out of the pan, I slice off the edges to get the corners squared so no one gets a weird, sloped, lopsided piece.
And then I eat those cut off pieces. I consider it payment for my time. Plus, you know, taste testing.
Not a secret, but a helpful tip: slicing bars like these are infinitely easier when I use a rocking pizza cutter (affiliate link) versus a large knife. It’s big enough to span the width and the length of the bars, so you get one long, even cut.
Plus, it’s easier on your cutting boards because you just rock the blade from side to side, instead of digging in and dragging a knife. Win-win.
How to make them Halloween rice krispie treats
Chocolate spiders: Melt some chocolate wafers, add them to a piping bag fitted with a small round tip, and decorate the tops of the bars with little chocolate spiders! For mine, I used white sprinkles as little eyes on some of them.
White chocolate ghosts: You could also melt while chocolate and pipe out little ghosts, and add little eyes with melted dark chocolate or dark-colored sprinkles.
This could easily apply to making my fluffernutter rice krispie treats, too, but the pumpkin spice addition in this recipe just feels a little extra Halloween-y, ya know?
Can I make these in a 9″x13″ pan?
You sure can! Just double the recipe – they'll have a different thickness than they would in a square pan, but it won't affect the flavor.
How to clean saucepan after making rice krispie treats
If you're using a non nonstick pan (definitely should have phrased that differently), you may have to put in a little extra effort to clean it.
Scrape out as much excess sticky rice krispie leftovers as you can with your spatula, then fill it with hot water and place it back on the stovetop. Bring it to a boil and let it sit for a bit. The residue will melt off the sides and bottom and float to the top!
Then you can skim that out of the water and throw it in the trash, then clean the pan with dish soap and water per usual.
How to store rice krispie treats
Store in an airtight container between layers of parchment paper at room temperature for up to 3 days.
But I don't recommend storing them in the fridge or trying to freeze them – it hardens the marshmallow and it doesn't get back to the same, soft texture.
More Halloween recipes:
- Halloween Puppy Chow
- Cinnamon Buttered Rum Popcorn Balls
- Leftover Halloween Candy Bark
- Leftover Candy Cookies
- Prep a 8×8" or 9×9" baking pan with parchment paper so that the edges hang over the sides of the pan, and then spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- Measure out 1 cup mini marshmallows and set aside.16 ounces mini marshmallows
- In a large saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Once melted, continue to heat the butter, stirring constantly, until it just starts to turn golden brown.6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Immediately add all but your 1 cup reserved mini marshmallows and heat, stirring frequently, until melted and combined.16 ounces mini marshmallows
- Remove from heat, add pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract and salt and give it a quick stir again to combine.1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extractpinch salt
- Add cereal and remaining 1 cup mini marshmallows and stir to coat and combine.6 cups Rice Krispies cereal16 ounces mini marshmallows
- Turn out into prepared baking dish and lightly press down into an even layer. You don't want to pack it down tightly, as your resulting bars will be dense and tough, and won't be as light and chewy.Tip: You can spray your hands with a little nonstick spray and use your palms to gently press it down, or place another piece of parchment paper on top before using your hands to press it down.
- Let set for at least 15 minutes, and then slice into 9 large bars or 16 smaller bars. Serve and enjoy!
To make these Halloween rice krispie treats:Chocolate spiders: Melt some chocolate wafers, add them to a piping bag fitted with a small round tip, and decorate the tops of the bars with little chocolate spiders! For mine, I used white sprinkles as little eyes on some of them. White chocolate ghosts: You could also melt while chocolate and pipe out little ghosts, and add little eyes with melted dark chocolate or dark-colored sprinkles.
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