Rice Krispie Treat ice cream is the summer indulgence I didn’t know I needed. One week I’m going through life, oblivious to its existence, and the next week it’s inescapable.
Not that I’d want to escape from its sweetly crunchy clutches, but when something sticks in my mind like this, I need to give into the craving or suffer the consequences.
We’re not even past the third paragraph of this post and you can’t get it out of your mind either, can you?
Here’s the thing: to me, Rice Krispie Treats are perfect on their own.
They need no embellishment, no bonus ingredient, nothing to make them better than how they taste just as they are.
(Not even browned butter, IMHO, and yes, that previous sentence included two major romcom references, Did you catch them?)
In high school, I’d regularly come home and use the free hour of latchkey kid time at my disposal to make a full batch of Rice Krispie Treats—and then I’d eat the entire 9×13 pan’s worth before my mom walked through the door.
Back in the 90s, the recipe on the Rice Krispies box called for 6 tablespoons of butter, so I’ll still boost the 3 tablespoons in the current recipe a bit for old times’ sake. But that’s the only change I ever feel comfortable with.
So it’s oddly glorious that every version of Rice Krispie Treat ice cream I’ve tried tastes exactly right.
My version of Rice Krispie Treat ice cream blends a buttery custard-based ice cream. It’s inspired in equal parts by Shake Shack’s original vanilla custard and Ample Hills’ Snap Mallow Pop flavor
That gets mixed with a copious amount of homemade marshmallow fluff and an equally copious amount of actual Rice Krispie Treat pieces.
Yes, it’s a little over the top. Yes, you’re really blending butter and cream to make that custard. No, it’s not too much.
In fact, I’d go so far as to call it the new summer classic. We might not have known we needed it, but now we can’t live without it.
Rice Krispie Treats
- 4 tablespoons (2 ounces; 57 grams) unsalted butter
- 1 10-ounce package mini marshmallows
- 6 cups (6 ounces) Rice Krispies
Buttery Vanilla Ice Cream
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar, divided
- 4 tablespoons (2 ounces; 57 grams) unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 egg whites (from the eggs used in the ice cream)
- 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Make the Rice Krispie Treats:
- I'm sure you don't need instructions on how to make Rice Krispie Treats, but just in case: melt the butter in a large stockpot (I like my 7 1/4-quart Le Creuset for the job) over medium-low heat.
- Add the marshmallows and stir until melted.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the Rice Krispies 2 cups at a time.
- Press the Rice Krispie treats into a 9x13-inch baking pan.
- Let cool to room temperature, then divide the treats in half. Pull half the treats apart into bite-size pieces. The rest is yours to eat—you're welcome.
Make the ice cream base:
- Divide the eggs and reserve 3 of the egg whites for the marshmallow fluff.
- Place the 4 egg yolks in a medium heatproof bowl and whisk in half the sugar (1/4 cup; 50 grams), beating for about 1 minute until the yolks are slightly thickened. Set aside.
- Melt the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat until the foam subsides and the butter solids start to separate from the golden liquid.
- Whisk the cream into the butter and cook for 2-3 minutes to warm the cream.
- Whisk in the milk, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and salt.
- Stir frequently until the liquid starts to steam and bubble at the edges, then reduce the heat to low.
- Drizzle 1/2 cup of the hot custard base into the egg yolks, whisking to blend.
- Slowly whisk the egg yolks into the custard base.
- With a silicone spatula, stir the custard constantly, cooking for about 3-5 minute more until it thickens enough to coat the spatula in sheets instead of dripping off in ribbons.
- Strain the custard through a fine mesh strainer into a clean bowl.
- Stir in the vanilla extract.
- Cover and refrigerate until the custard is completely chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Pour the chilled custard into an ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer instructions.
While the ice cream churns, make the marshmallow fluff:
- Whisk the egg whites and sugar for 1-2 minutes in a double boiler or a nonreactive bowl set over a small pan of simmering water.
- As soon as the sugar is fully dissolved into the egg whites and the mixture is warm, transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Whisk on medium-high speed for about 5 minutes, making a thick, stiff marshmallow fluff. Add the cream of tartar after about 2 minutes, just when the egg whites are turning from translucent to opaque.
Assemble the ice cream:
- Working quickly, scoop the churned ice cream into a very large bowl.
- Quickly, quickly, Stir in the marshmallow fluff and Rice Krispie Treat bits. The ice cream will still be soft and gets softer as you add the fluff, so time is of the essence.
- Transfer to 1 or 2 freezer-safe containers. Freeze for at least 4 hours to allow the ice cream to firm up before eating.
Rice Krispie Treats can be made up to 2 days in advance.
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