Crunchy Top Brownies

My friend Dan has been asking me for months to make some rice crispy treats. Dan is a constant taste tester for my baked goods and I so I promised him that yes, one day, I will make him some rice crispy treats. Well, his birthday rolled around and I figured it’s the best time to make good on my promise. But I didn’t want to make just plain old rice crispy treats. I wanted to make it special. It was his birthday after all.

And you all know what I do to make things special, right? I break out the Nutella.

I didn’t just make Nutella rice crispy treats. I made rich, fudgy brownies as a base. Then topped it with rice crispies. Mixed with Nutella. And milk chocolate. And marshmallows. It resulted in what I now call the ultimate Crunchy Top Brownies.

Crunchy Top Brownies

I was inspired by the Peanut Butter Cup Crunch Brownies Bars from Brown Eyed Baker, which were actually the Better-Than-Crack-Brownies from How Sweet It Is. The closest I’ve come to crack were some pomme frites, but I trust those lovely ladies. Anyway, Dan is allergic to peanut butter so I omitted all the peanuts in the recipe, swapped in Nutella for peanut butter, increased the rice crispy portion, added marshmallows, and melted more marshmallows on top.

I thought that for this to be considered a rice crispy treat, it had to have marshmallows

Crunchy Top Brownies

1 batch of your favorite brownie recipe (I like Barefoot Contessa’s Outrageous Brownies or when I’m lazy, I turn to Ghirardelli box mix)
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
1 13 oz jar Nutella
1 cup mini marshmallows (this is what I used but I suggest increasing this to 2 cups), plus more for melting on top
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 cups Rice Krispies cereal

Prepare brownie mix according to direction, but instead of just using one pan, use two 8×8 baking pans lined with parchment paper. Bake brownies for 5 minutes less than the recipe states.

When the  brownies are almost done, melt the chocolate chips, Nutella, and butter in a large pot over medium-low heat. Stir in the cereal and mix everything together until the rice crispies are evenly coated.

Remove the brownie pans from the oven and spread one half of the Nutella mixture on top of each pan. Sprinkle with some mini marshmallows and put brownie pans back in the oven for 5 minutes. The marshmallows on top would have puffed up a little when you remove the brownies. Quickly spread the marshmallows over the brownie tops using a rubber spatula so you’ll end up with a light marshmallow swirl.

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before cutting into squares. You’ll end up with 32 squares (16 from each pan).

each crunchy square would be very sweet, so I suggest you have a glass of milk ready

One thing to note: the rice crispy layer was crunchier than I anticipated, so after cutting the brownies into squares, it started to separate from the brownie base. This is why I suggest increasing the marshmallows in the mixture to make it chewier and stickier.

they’re a little messy to eat, but each crumb is worth it

I may have given Dan early onset diabetes but I think these brownies were well-received!

What’s your favorite brownie recipe? Please share links in the comments!


27 Responses to “Crunchy Top Brownies”

  1. #
    Lauren at Keep It Sweet posted August 17, 2011 at 8:26 am

    That looks like an amazing birthday treat! Love your version.

  2. #
    Elizabeth posted August 17, 2011 at 8:27 am

    This is slightly mind blowing. I wish you were bringing these tonight!

  3. #
    A Boston Food Diary posted August 17, 2011 at 8:57 am

    Whoa- these sound incredible!

  4. #
    Emily @ A Cambridge Story posted August 17, 2011 at 9:05 am

    Please feel free to bring these tonight – especially because they don’t have those dreaded peanuts :) btw, my birthday is Sept 7th if tonight doesn’t work out!

  5. #
    MelissaNibbles posted August 17, 2011 at 9:09 am

    Dan is a lucky friend! These look tasty!

  6. #
    Daisy posted August 17, 2011 at 9:44 am

    oh my gosh. i want about 5 of these right now!

  7. #
    Victoria (District Chocoholic) posted August 17, 2011 at 10:06 am

    Oh wow, this is amazing. I love it!

  8. #
    rj posted August 17, 2011 at 10:35 am

    i am both sad and relieved that you and your brownies are half a world away! :D they look great!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted August 18, 2011 at 2:01 pm

      Aww RJ thanks! I’ll make some in December, when I’m there ;)

  9. #
    Jenn @ Frost Bites posted August 17, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    I’m gonna have to try this recipe….you know how I love Nutella! Looks good girl!

  10. #
    Michelle Collins posted August 17, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    These look great! I made Nutella Brownies a few months back, and adored them: They were addicting!

  11. #
    Megan posted August 17, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    Wow! I think I just died. These look so decadent! Lucky, lucky Dan!

  12. #
    blackbookkitchendiaries posted August 17, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    oh wow! these are simply brilliant! yum! thank you for sharing this. i cant wait to try it out.

  13. #
    Claire @ Live and Love to Eat posted August 17, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    That boxed Godiva mix is hard to beat!

  14. #
    shannon posted August 17, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    haha, what a fabulous version!! love the nutella swap :)

  15. #
    Michelle posted August 17, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    I love your love for Nutella. :-)

  16. #
    Emily @ Write Twenty Eleven posted August 17, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    Oh my goodness… looking at these photos and not being able to reach out, grab one of those brownies, and eat it is torture!! Mmmmm

  17. #
    Alaina posted August 17, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    Anything with marshmallows is a winner in my book! :-)

    Side note: Any chance you may be free this Friday evening to get together in Harvard Square?

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted August 18, 2011 at 2:02 pm

      Alaina, yup there is something about the sticky, gooey-ness of marshmallows that are just so appealing. I can’t this Friday, maybe next? I’m about to email you!

  18. #
    Maris (In Good taste) posted August 17, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    2 words-Lucky Dan!

  19. #
    ashleigh posted August 18, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    O M G!! Those look DELICIOUS. I want one!

  20. #
    Erica @ In and Around Town posted August 18, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    OMG these look amazingly delicious!!! I will be making these so soon!

  21. #
    Taryn posted August 18, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    These look absolutely sinful!! Very jealous they’re in your kitchen and not mine.

  22. #
    Megan posted August 19, 2011 at 8:36 am

    These look insanely good. *Bookmarks* ;)

  23. #
    Clarkie @ Beloved Green posted August 19, 2011 at 8:50 am

    I like that there is an evolution of the brownie from one baker to the next. It evolves into this massive piece of yummy awesomeness each time.

  24. #
    newlywed posted August 19, 2011 at 10:11 am

    Incredible. Incredible!

  25. #
    Hannah posted August 23, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    Ahhhh! Just yesterday I was madly googling to try and find recipes to use up my nutella! How did I not find this?!

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