Banish Dry Rice Krispie Treats With A Single Ingredient

In the 1930s, Kellogg's workers Mildred Day and Malitta Jensen came up with the brilliant idea for Rice Krispie treats. They created the sticky sweet dessert using the cereal of the same name that the food manufacturer had developed in 1928. The ladies' recipe reportedly used molasses and corn syrup to create the gooey, tempting treat, instead of the quintessential marshmallows that we all know and love today.

But, marshmallows aren't the only ingredient that can elevate the decades-old favorite. While some people might feel most comfortable sticking to the tried and true Rice Krispie treat recipe that's been on the side of the box for over 80 years, you can also use different cereal options, or add in vanilla extract or lots more butter to amp things up. You can also do like Alton Brown and add in double the marshmallows.

Another addition that can bring Rice Krispie treats to a whole other level, and make them softer and more moist, is sweetened condensed milk. In fact, it can keep these sweets from being too dry and chewy from the moment that you bite into them.

The trick to using sweetened condensed milk in Rice Krispie treats

Many of us have experienced a dry Rice Krispies treat, especially after they've been sitting on the counter for a day or two after they were first made. But, there is a way to avoid this conundrum with sweetened condensed milk. Not only does the genius ingredient add a yummy sweet flavor to the mix, it also makes your treats stay much softer, for longer.

To use this recipe hack, start by melting 6 tablespoons of butter on the stove and add 1 cup of sweetened condensed milk. Go about the rest of the recipe in the traditional method, which means adding marshmallows next. Just make sure you do this over low heat so you don't get a hard and crunchy result.

Once prepared, place the treats in the refrigerator to chill for a bit and then store them in an air-tight container to prevent them from going stale. Another way to keep Rice Krispie treats from developing a hard texture is by putting the prepared mixture in a pan that is 8 inches by 8 inches or smaller (a larger option thins them out too much). Also, you should use recently purchased cereal and marshmallows that are at their freshest.

Other sweetened condensed milk recipes

Sweetened condensed milk doesn't only keep Rice Krispie treats from drying out. The dairy product's sweet flavor and creamy texture also makes it a key ingredient in a handful of other drinks and desserts.

If you're looking for a cool and refreshing frozen treat, use sweetened condensed milk as an ingredient for fresh watermelon sherbet or in a recipe for frozen lime pie ice pops.

You could also branch out and add the ingredient in some treats that are popular in other countries. Sweetened condensed milk works great as a creamer in Vietnamese iced coffee. In Brazil, the milk is often a go-to addition to limeade. Just toss it in a blender with limes (peel and all) to make a creamy, frothy, and extremely refreshing beverage. You can also use it to make dulce de leche, a Latin American cake that uses a whole can of sweetened condensed milk.