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Best-Ever Rice Krispie Treats

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A few tweaks to the back-of-the-box recipe make these the best Rice Krispie Treats ever.

I’m always hesitant to say a recipe is the “best ever,” especially for a dessert like Rice Krispie Treats or chocolate chip cookies that everyone knows and loves. But once you’ve tinkered around with a recipe for weeks—asking your kids, their friends, and anyone who passes through your house to sample different versions—you can say it’s the best with some confidence. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the original back-of-the-box Rice Krispie treat recipe, but it can be made so much better with almost no effort. Here’s how:

  • Use more butter (lots more) and brown it
  • Increase the marshmallows and stir in some at the end for extra gooeyness
  • Add vanilla extract for flavor
  • Add salt because a little salt makes anything sweet taste so much better

What You’ll Need To Make The Best-Ever Rice Krispie Treats

ingredients for rice krispies treats

  • 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan
  • Two 10-oz bags mini marshmallows, divided
  • ¾ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 8½ cups Rice Krispies or crispy rice cereal

Step-by-Step Instructions

Begin by melting the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Save the wrappers – you’ll use them later.

melting butter in pot

After the butter melts, it will begin to bubble, foam, and turn golden around the edges. Eventually it will turn a dark golden color and smell nutty – watch carefully, it will go from golden brown to burned quickly.

brown butter in potYou’ll see little bits of golden brown sediment forming; that’s okay. But if they get too dark, go ahead and strain them out and then pour the brown butter back in the pot.

straining sediment

Add all but 2 cups of the marshmallows, the vanilla, and salt.

adding marshmallows, vanilla, and salt to the brown butter

Place the pot over medium heat and stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until the marshmallows are completely melted.

melted marshmallow and brown butter mixture in pot

Remove the pan from the heat and add the cereal.

adding cereal to the marshmallow mixture

Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir until evenly combined.

rice krispies mixed with marshmallow mixtureAdd the reserved 2 cups of marshmallows.

adding the reserved marshmallows

Stir until they are softened and partially melted. Don’t overmix – you want pockets of goo.

rice krispie mixture with pockets of goo

Transfer the mixture to a foil-lined 9×13-in baking dish.

rice krispie treat mixture in baking pan Using the butter wrappers, press into an even layer.

pressing rice krispie treat mixture into an even layerLet cool for at least an hour, then use the foil overhang to lift the treats onto a cutting board.
rice krispies treats on cutting board

Use a serrated knife to cut into squares. Store the treats in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Enjoy!

cutting rice krispies treats into squaresVideo Tutorial

How To Freeze Rice Krispie Treats

Rice Krispie treats freeze well. Place the treats in layers separated by wax paper in an airtight container; freeze for up to 6 weeks. Let the treats stand at room temperature for about an hour before serving.

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Best-Ever Rice Krispie Treats

A few tweaks to the back-of-the-box recipe make these the best Rice Krispie Treats ever.

Servings: 20 to 24 squares
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Total Time: 20 Minutes, plus one hour to cool

Ingredients

  • 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan
  • Two 10-oz bags mini marshmallows, divided
  • ¾ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 8½ cups Rice Krispies or crispy rice cereal (see note)

Instructions

  1. Line a 9 x 13-in pan with heavy duty aluminum foil and lightly grease with softened butter. Set aside 2 cups of the marshmallows.
  2. In a large pot or Dutch oven, preferably with a light bottom so you can monitor the color, melt the butter over medium heat (save the butter wrappers; you'll use them later for pressing the mixture into the pan). Swirl the pan occasionally to be sure the butter is cooking evenly.
  3. As the butter melts, it will begin to bubble and foam, and the color will progress from bright yellow to golden to, finally, a toasty-brown. Once you smell that nutty brown butter aroma, take the pan off the heat. (You'll see little bits of golden brown sediment forming; that's okay. However, if the sediment looks almost black, go ahead and pass the butter through a fine sieve to strain it out, then return the brown butter to the pan.)
  4. Off the heat, add the remaining marshmallows, vanilla, and salt.
  5. Place the pot back over medium heat and stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until the marshmallows are completely melted. Remove the pan from the heat and add the cereal. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir until evenly combined.
  6. Add the reserved marshmallows and stir until they are softened and partially melted. Don't overmix; you want pockets of goo. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and, using the butter wrapper or damp fingers, press the mixture gently into an even layer in the prepared baking pan. Let cool at room temperature for at least an hour.
  7. Use the foil overhang to lift the treats onto a cutting board, then use a serrated bread knife to cut into squares. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
  8. Note: Kellogg's no longer makes a gluten-free version of Rice Krispies, so if you have a gluten-sensitivity, make sure the cereal you purchase is certified gluten-free.
  9. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: To freeze, place in layers separated by wax paper in airtight container. Freeze for up to 6 weeks. Let stand at room temperature for about an hour before serving.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (24 servings)
  • Calories: 162
  • Fat: 6 g
  • Saturated fat: 4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 27 g
  • Sugar: 15 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Sodium: 93 mg
  • Cholesterol: 15 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

See more recipes:

Comments

  • I hate it

    • — Kelly Work Cell on June 4, 2022
    • Reply
  • Is straining the sediment only for aesthetics sake? Or will it affect the way the treats taste?

    • — L on June 3, 2022
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    • Hi L, the sediment can taste a little bitter.

      • — Jenn on June 3, 2022
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      • Holy smokes! Idk how and why I’m so late to the brown butter party but here I am! Making these for a second time and I’m already drooling.

        • — Marie on June 11, 2022
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  • I have made these dozens of times for the nursing staff at the hospital where I work. I get a ton of requests for both the treats and the recipe and I have no idea how this recipe could ever get less than the 5 stars that it deserves. I wonder if people are using off brand rice krispies and/or salted butter or if they are burning their butter. Beats me, bc these are nurse tested and approved and LOVED!!!

    • — christeenabeee on May 26, 2022
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  • Whoa! Browning the butter made a huge impact on flavor. This is delicious! My bf who loves rice krispies couldn’t stop raving about it.
    Btw, I’ve made this the first time today. I followed the recipe exactly (all except I used parchment paper vs foil) next time I will try mixing other cereals like corn flakes or chex. Would be nice to change up texture. Anyone tried mixing some peanut butter in marshmallows yet? Might try that myself next time.

    • — Jerr on May 24, 2022
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    • Yes! I add about 3/4 cup (you could definitely do 1/2 cup) when the marshmallows are melting and they’re fantastic.

      • — Alex on October 26, 2022
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  • This recipe does not work I tried it and it’s absolutely disgusting.

    • — Kayla on May 15, 2022
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    • Kayla I’ve had nothing but requests for more! I wonder what you don’t like. Do you like store bought Rice Krispie treats?

      • — Wendy on October 27, 2022
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  • Thank you thank you for this. My niece has finally discovered Rice Krispie treats and I made them the other day and I felt like they needed something and I kept thinking “what if I browned the butter?” This recipe is outstanding!

    • — Elizabeth B on May 13, 2022
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  • They taste great but 30 minutes after letting them cool they turned to rock. It’s great if you stick it in the microwave though.

    • — Hazel B on May 10, 2022
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    • This usually happens, in my experience, if you melt down everything too quickly.

      • — Sarah W on December 11, 2022
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  • Yup, these are delicious. I love the little pockets of goo from the 2C of marshmallows.

    • — Nikole D. on May 10, 2022
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  • Well i made another batch & like you said add a little bit of your own ingredients so i a sprinkled a light bit of icing sugar at the end as it was cooking off in the dish wow what a difference a little more sweetness does & it even looks better lol.

    • — Dennis on April 21, 2022
    • Reply
  • I used this recipe to make RKT and Fruity Pebbles treats for a coworkers birthday. I had just purchased some fancy RKT from a local bakery the week prior and shared them with the same group of folks. They all raved over the ones I made. It was my first time making them. So good! I didn’t follow the recipe exactly because my store had 16 oz bags instead of 10, so I just used one 16 oz bag and and 10-11 tbs of butter and they were perfect.

    • — Jenifer on April 20, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn.
    Thank you so much for this fabulous recipe! I wanted to make some special treats for our 14 kids at our Kids Club! I followed your exact recipe, but added mini chocolate chips with the last 2 cups of marshmallows and it turned out Awesome!
    Each child received a very large piece and just loved it!!! This is a keeper and I will make it again for my 2 granddaughters!!! So gooey and delicious!!!

    • — Joyce on April 19, 2022
    • Reply
  • Delicious!! I made these before my kids came home from school today and they were excited to see Rice Kripie treats when they walked in the door. They loved your recipe and we’ll never go back to making them the old boring way. Thanks Jenn!

    • — Laura McCaskill on April 11, 2022
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  • WORST. RECIPE. EVER.
    I’m sorry I wanted to like it but no, just no.

    • — Saul Goodman on April 3, 2022
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    • I honestly don’t see how someone could mess this up.. It was super yummy! I actually formed mine into little “birds nests”for Easter using a cupcake tin and pushing it down in the center. I have mini Cadbury eggs I’m putting in them too! I like store bought rice Krispy treats, but nothing beats homemade!

      • — Sween on April 16, 2022
      • Reply
  • I love butter also, but 12 tablespoons??? That’s crazy. Way more than needed. I’d say about 6 should do it. But thanks for your version, I may try it

    • — Karla on April 2, 2022
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  • The recipe was ok it might be because I used off brand ingredients because it looked like the picture but the rice krispies where a little tough (not like rubery but not normal) it tasted good but I needed it to be perfect because I was using this recipe for my demonstration speech about how to make homemade rice krispies treats for my first thing I have made that didn’t get burnt it turned out ok

    • — Draven Craig on March 21, 2022
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  • These are over the top! The BEST! So full of gooey goodness! Thanks, Jenn, for another outstanding recipe!

    • — Barbara K on March 17, 2022
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  • These are the absolute best rice krispie treats ever! Your tweaks to the traditional recipe are spot on Jenn. I have made this recipe several times and they are always a hit. My husband even won the Paul Bunyan trophy at work with your recipe for rice krispies. So thank you Jenn! That said, my husband wants me to make them with cocoa krispies. What do you think? Would it work? Would you make any other adjustments to the recipe?
    ~Cathy

    • — Cathy on March 12, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Kathy, so glad you like these and that they were award-winning in your husband‘s office! 🙂
      I’ve never made these with Cocoa Krispies so I can’t say for sure how they would turn out but I think you could substitute some of the traditional Rice Krispies with Cocoa Krispies without any other modifications. You may want to start out using half regular Rice Krispies and half Cocoa Krispies just to test it out. Please LMK what you think if you try them this way!

      • — Jenn on March 14, 2022
      • Reply
    • I’ve made several different types of cereals to make my crispy treats Edibles and ALL have been loved. Fruity pebbles, cocoa pebbles, Pb and chocolate pebbles etc., and I didn’t mix w rice crispes, also different flavored marshmallows and fluff as well. Sky is the limit of ur taste buds and imagination 👍
      I’m actually about to make Pumpkin spice ones for the 1st time right now. Happy Making 😀

      • — Shanna on June 7, 2022
      • Reply
  • I added a handful of semi sweet chocolate chips. Added even more sinful goodness.

    • — Terr on March 12, 2022
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  • I made these for the first time last night, super easy and delicious! I used 7 1/2 cups of crispy cereal because I like my treats gooier. I also used vegan marshmallows and vegan butter, so they’re tasty and vegan! I couldn’t find vegan mini marshmallows so I just tore up the regular ones into mini pieces. 5/5 will definitely make again.

    • — Sam Bass on March 10, 2022
    • Reply
  • Very good recipe! So gooey and soft! We loved it and will definitely use this as our go to Rice Krispy Square recipe! Adding the extra marshmallows at the end put it over the top!

    • — Jenn L. on March 5, 2022
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  • This recipe is super dry and crumbly. Too many rice crispies not enough marshmallow. And using foil is a horribly messy snd sticky situation.

    • — D on February 24, 2022
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  • I have used this recipe four times in the last two weeks; recently discovered Cinnamon Rice Krispies and substituted two cups in lieu of the regular. Very good.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • — Glenda on February 16, 2022
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  • These are insanely good! I used big marshmallows instead for extra “goo.” Thank you so much for your recipes.

    • — Linda on February 9, 2022
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  • Oh my goodness the butter becoming nutty just makes the Rice Krispie square complete. Thank you. I love it!

    • — Amanda S on February 8, 2022
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  • Hi, Jenn! Thank you for this great recipe! I made two batches not too long ago and loved every square I got to eat! It was a hit at a staff potluck. This recipe brings back wonderful childhood memories. Not to mention the treats stay tasty and chewy left in the fridge for a few days after!

    • — Susan on February 7, 2022
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  • The best recipe I’ve found so far… and I make a LOT of treats!

    • — Angel on January 28, 2022
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  • Literally the best rice krispy treats! So much flavor and a little salty. Love these!

    • — Sloane on January 26, 2022
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  • Made them this afternoon and they turned out just like you said. Thank you. Love this recipe.

    • — Joan on January 24, 2022
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  • These are soooo good! I only had 6 cups of Rice Krispies so I used lucky charms to make up the rest, they are delicious!
    Very easy to make as well.
    Browning the butter makes them taste very gourmet.

    P.S, Kelloggs does make gluten free Rice Krispies. I found them at Walmart! Also, lucky charms are gluten free too 🙂
    score for my fellow celiacs/ gluten sensitive peeps.

    • — Makai on January 24, 2022
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  • Wow, this recipe looks so good that I even bookmarked it on my computer before I even had baked it.

    • — Treyton Wolfley, age 12 on January 16, 2022
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  • This is the ONLY rice crispie treat recipe I use!!! Wonderful!!! Now my newly married daughter makes these as well. Family favorite!

    • — Kim Ralph on January 11, 2022
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  • This is the first rice crispy treat recipe I’ve tried, so I can’t really compare, but I don’t think I’ll be searching for another. These are AMAZING. They were a huge hit with all 5 of us, kids and parents alike. Adding some of the marshmallows at the end was genius. Will definitely be making again!

    • — Marcy Holler on January 9, 2022
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  • Best Rice Crispy treat recipe!!
    ** I did 1/2 cocoa crispies and 1/2 regular for added flavor. Thank you for the recipe!!

    • — Cherish on December 30, 2021
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  • I love the smell of browned butter in my home. The change from u browned to browned took a long time, then happened in a second – BOOM!

    • — Kim on December 25, 2021
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  • Literally the best Rice Krispie Treats & the brown butter…. Genius!!

    • — Olivia Richardson on December 19, 2021
    • Reply
  • These are insanely easy and insanely delicious. I’m not even the biggest fan of rice krispy treats and I am completely hooked on these! What a genius idea to separate those two cups of marshmallows out to create gooey pockets of goodness!!

    • — Stephanie on December 16, 2021
    • Reply
  • I’d like to make these for Christmas using the red and green rice treats however I’m wondering if I should adjust anything to ensure it’s not overly sweet. Thoughts? Thanks!

    • — Tobi on December 11, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Tobi, I don’t know if red and green rice krispies contain any additional sugar. (My guess is that they don’t; they probably just have coloring added to them. If they don’t, you won’t need to make any adjustments.) Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on December 13, 2021
      • Reply
    • My husband (we are old people) bought the holiday ones for fun and I found her wonderful modified recipe and they are great! …just some extra food coloring as best as I can tell. Also, we got hooked on these treats and now can’t find rice krispies anywhere due to a strike? Or shortage issue. In midwest there are none to be found at any store still Jan 21, 22.

      • — Karen Duffield on January 21, 2022
      • Reply
      • I recently found some at Amazon, it’s Happy Belly (their own brand) but they taste very good.

        • — Donna on January 23, 2022
        • Reply
        • I bought the Happy Belly Rice Krispies also. They are very good!

          • — Cheryl S on February 12, 2022
          • Reply
  • Didn’t have mini marshmallows but worked perfectly with big ones. I just put them all in together and made sure some chunks didn’t melt. So good! Husband ate them all 🙁 Will be using the recipe again!

    • — Ashley on November 10, 2021
    • Reply
  • This recipe is so delicious. It does leave an oily residue sensation on the tongue. But they are tasty. I brought some to work I am surprised to see that at 5pm there are still 3 left. I got here at 12 noon.

    • — Fran on November 8, 2021
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  • These really are the best!

    • — Jennifer on October 10, 2021
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  • These krispy treats are excellent. My son, who is 6, and I made these tonight and we’re quite impressed. The steps are simple and a great way to spend some quality time with the kids. I’m a tech dad and surely not a cook, so the fact that they came out really well speaks volumes for the recipe itself. Thanks.

    • — Ryan T on September 27, 2021
    • Reply
  • Dear Jean, I am 6 3/4 years old, and I just made these with my grandmother! They are the best Rice Krispie treats I have ever had. Yum yum!
    !

    • — Miller Bugg and her grandmother, Sal on September 17, 2021
    • Reply
    • 💕

      • — Jenn on September 17, 2021
      • Reply
  • Fantastic Recipe! The absolute best I have ever made & eaten! Wow! Great ratios!

    • — Kim on September 14, 2021
    • Reply
  • Great idea for the second addition of marshmallows!

    Celiacs be ware though – Rice Krispies USED to be Gluten Free. They no longer are. They add barley/malt to the crispies for flavor and that ingredient is not GF. What I do is buy the “healthy” alternative rice crisps as some of them are certified GF as they don’t add barley/malt.

    Otherwise, it’s a great recipe!

    • — David on August 4, 2021
    • Reply
  • I’m sitting here with a stomachache because I have eaten so many of these rice crispy treats, I don’t even like rice crispy treats, but my daughter wanted to make them weeks ago, but we couldn’t find the marshmallows (I hid them so she wouldn’t eat them before making the recipe) but we found them, then I thought the cereal would be gone or stale by now, but it was unopened, and I had all the other ingredients, so we made them. At first, I thought there wasn’t going to be enough melted marshmallows to coat all the cereal, but I kept at it, then I added the remaining 2 cups and I could tell it was going to be just fine. After pressing into a greased dish, I happened to eat what was left on the spatula and OMG!!!! Between the brown butter, the salt, yes the salt and the vanilla ( both of which I didn’t even measure because who doesn’t like salt and vanilla, this recipe made them taste like they were made with homemade marshmallows vs. store bought and those pockets of partially melted marshmallows were the best. I couldn’t even wait for them to cool in the fridge, I kept eating and eating, hence the stomachache! Thank you, best recipe EVER!!!!

    • — Gena Price on July 21, 2021
    • Reply
  • These turned out superb! Thank you for sharing your recipe!!!

    • — Holly on July 10, 2021
    • Reply
  • Such a great tasty Rice Krispie, but I may have done something wrong because they had a filming taste at the end.

    • — Tahnee on June 28, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Tahnee, Sorry you had a problem with this. Can you explain more what you mean by a filming taste? Thanks!

      • — Jenn on June 29, 2021
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn
    I made these for my sons office last week. They disappeared before the end of the day. Browned butter really adds flavor to the recipe. Great idea!
    Your recipes are always to be trusted, and I have had great success with everything that I have tried.

    • — Carol on May 24, 2021
    • Reply
  • Great! Kids helped. Love buttery. I added honey for healthy gooiness. Thank you.

    • — Timbo on May 2, 2021
    • Reply
  • Honestly the best. They’re gooey and the browned butter caramel notes are to die for.

    • — Arynn Marchant on April 1, 2021
    • Reply

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