The Unexpected Container Alton Brown Uses For Rice Krispies Treats

There's a certain sensory nostalgia that comes with memories of favorite childhood snacks. The sticky sweetness of a candy necklace. The sheer delight of breaking through a slushy Screwball to reach the prized gumball at the bottom of the plastic cone. The first time you got to lick the bowl as your mother was putting a pan of brownies in the oven.

For chef and TV host Alton Brown, that nostalgia kicks in when he recalls the creative way he used to trick his mother into believing he was indulging in a reasonably healthy snack when, in fact, he was digging into a sugar-laden treat. In an early-Pandemic YouTube video, an "almost" alone Brown (we're guessing someone else was filming) shared a childhood secret on the set of "Good Eats." Apropo for the time, he was in the kitchen to demonstrate his take on an old-fashioned comfort food: Rice Krispie Treats.

But before we get to Brown's secret, let's take a look at his slightly elevated approach to making Rice Krispie Treats.

What's in the box?

At the start of the YouTube video, Brown points out that although he's in the "Good Eats" kitchen, the recipe he's about to share would never be featured on the show. That's because, on television, he has to avoid mentioning brand names. He admits that "the simple truth" is that you should use Rice Krispies if you're making Rice Krispies Treats. Brown then unabashedly mentions two more brand names: Jet-Puffed marshmallows and Kerry Gold butter. Then he steps up to a wok. Clearly, he's not making run-of-the-mill Rice Krispies Treats. 

The tutorial continues as Brown shares a few tips, including toasting the cereal in a wok to bring out more rice flavor and slightly browning the butter before mixing in the marshmallows. The secret, though, comes at the very end of the lesson. 

"When I was a kid, I wanted to eat these things without my mother knowing that I was eating them," Brown says while coating the inside of the empty Rice Krispies box with cooking spray. You read that right. He coated an empty box with cooking spray before transferring the gooey mixture from the wok to the box to let it set. "So here we have it, completely hidden inside an innocent box of unsweetened cereal. So when my mom yelled at me, 'Are you eating candy?' No mom. I'm just eating cereal. There's not even any sugar in here."