Toasted Coconut Caramel Rice Krispie Treats

Move over classic rice krispie treats! These toasted coconut caramel rice krispie treats are ridiculously delicious…so easy and a total showstopper!

Toasted Coconut Caramel Rice Krispie Treats on parchment paper.

I figure if you’re reading this post, you’re either a huge Rice Krispie treat fan (as in, maybe you make them weekly?) and you’ll try any and every variation under the sun.

Or maybe you are wondering if this recipe might be the one to bring you back to the land of Rice Krispie treats after a long hiatus? You are welcome here, too. 🙂

As much as I love an intensely decadent dessert now and again, there’s something about Rice Krispie treats that kind of speak to my soul.

Top down view of Toasted Coconut Caramel Rice Krispie Treats on parchment paper.

We make this super easy, best-ever Rice Krispie treat version all the time.

And by we, I mean my kids (hallelujah!).

They can whip them up in no time, and they are often the chosen treat offering they take to their church meetings and activities (not to mention our family’s favorite dipper for this chocolate fondue).

If you haven’t made that classic Rice Krispie treat recipe, you may not realize how browning the butter can take a generationally beloved treat to epically yummy proportions.

They are so delicious. I cut them into 1-inch squares thinking that will help my self-control.

Spoiler alert: it doesn’t. Not one little bit.

Top down view of Toasted Coconut Caramel Rice Krispie Treats on parchment paper.

While there’s nothing quite like a good, old-fashioned Rice Krispie treat, sometimes a fun, crazy delicious version is in order.

How about toasted coconut and caramel?

And a little chocolate thrown in there too for good measure?

If coconut + caramel is your thing…and even better…if Rice Krispie treats are your thing, these toasted coconut caramel Rice Krispie treats are definitely going to be your thing.

They are even more delicious than they look and sound if that’s possible. Promise.

Bite taken out of Toasted Coconut Caramel Rice Krispie Treats on parchment paper.

I know it might be tempting to skip the step of toasting the coconut. DON’T DO IT!

Sorry to shout, but seriously, toast that coconut. It makes 1,000% difference in the outcome of these delectable toasted coconut caramel Rice Krispie treats.

I’ve used both the super finely chopped toasted coconut in these treats (similar to the kind in chocolate haystack candies – I always pick up a bag at Orson Gygi when I’m there) and also every day sweetened, shredded coconut that I’ve toasted in a skillet on the stove.

Both work great! If you toast the coconut yourself*, you can chop it into smaller pieces or pulse it in a blender or just toss it in the recipe as is.

*Toasting coconut is super easy – toss about a cup into a 12-inch skillet set over medium heat and stir constantly until evenly toasted; it will take a couple minutes. 

Toasted Coconut Caramel Rice Krispie Treats on parchment paper.

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Toasted Coconut Caramel Rice Krispie Treats

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Ingredients:

Rice Krispie Treats:

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick, 4 ounces) butter
  • 20 ounces large marshmallows (about 80 large marshmallows)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • Pinch coarse, kosher salt
  • 9 cups (9 ounces) crisp rice cereal (i.e. Rice Krispies)
  • 1 1/2 cups (4.5 ounces) toasted coconut (see note)

Topping:

  • 14 soft caramels (about 4 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon cream or half-and-half
  • 1/2 cup (3 ounces) chocolate chips, melted

Directions:

  1. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9X13-inch pan. Set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter on low heat and let it cook until the solids start to turn golden brown and it smells caramelly and fragrant (here’s a browned butter how-to if you’d like a visual).
  3. Add the marshmallows and cook on low, stirring constantly until mostly melted, a few small lumps here and there are ok. Add the vanilla extract, coconut extract, and salt and stir to combine.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and add the rice krispies and toasted coconut. Stir until evenly combined.
  5. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and using lightly greased or barely wet (with cold water) hands, lightly press the mixture into the pan (mashing them too hard and you’ll end up with very firm rice krispie treats – so use a gentle hand if you want them chewy).
  6. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the caramels with the cream on 50% power in the microwave until melted and smooth. Drizzle over the Rice Krispie treats (I just use a fork, dip it in the caramel and flick it over the top of the bars). Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave until melted (careful not to overheat) and drizzle on top with a fork or spooning the chocolate into a bag and snipping the corner. Let the caramel and chocolate cool and set, about an hour, before cutting the treats into squares and serving.

Notes:

Let’s talk toasted coconut. I definitely recommend using toasted coconut – it amps up the flavor much more than untoasted coconut.  I’ve used both the finely shredded already toasted coconut (similar to the kind used in chocolate haystack candies – I always pick up a bag when I’m at Orson Gygi) and also every day sweetened, shredded coconut that I’ve toasted in a skillet on the stove. If using regular sweetened coconut and toasting it, you can throw it into the Rice Krispie treats once it is toasted or you can chop (or pulse in a blender) until smaller in texture. 

I haven’t tried it (yet!) but you could probably amp up the caramel flavor that is already pronounced because of the browned butter and the caramel drizzled on top by adding a few soft caramels to the marshmallow mixture and letting them melt before adding the Rice Krispies and coconut.

If you want a crispier/less chewy texture, add another cup of Rice Krispies (for a total of 10 cups). 

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Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe, adapted from this recipe (increased marshmallows to account for the toasted coconut; also added coconut extract, toasted coconut, chocolate, etc)