Thursday, September 11, 2008

Fun and Simple Treats

Every once in a while our family ends up with 4-5 boxes of cereal that no one is interested in eating anymore. Cheerios, Rice Krispies, Chex, Golden name it. So to cut down on all those gigantic boxes of cereal, I make treats with them. Here are two of our favorite quick and easy treats that use things we already have around the house and help us clean out our pantry faster. They are great year round because a couple of changes make them fun seasonal treats for our family to munch on during our favorite holidays.

Monster Trail Mix
Ingredients: Assorted Cereals, Marshmallows; Chocolate Chips; Raisins, dried fruits; M & Ms, small candies

Directions: In a zip lock gallon sized bag, pour in all ingredients. Have kids shake bags to mix everything. Makes great on the go snacks for kids, just pour a little into a small plastic bag or plastic container and take with you.

Seasonal Tip: For a seasonal treat, use colored candies like red/green m&ms for Christmas, or candy corn for fall. Also, if you use marshmallows, pick ones that come in fun holiday shapes like trees for Christmas and ghosts for Halloween.

Cereal Bars
Ingredients: Assorted Cereals (Rice Krispies, Chex, etc), 3 Tbsp. of butter, 1 bag marshmallows or 6 cups of mini-marshmallows, and for optional add-ins: chocolate chips, raisins, dried fruit, m&ms, small candies, chocolate pieces

Directions: Melt butter in a large saucepan on low heat. After butter is melted pour in marshmallows. Stir mixture often. When all marshmallows are melted, you may add chocolate pieces and melt those into mixture if you want it to be extra chocolate-y. Pour in cereal(s) and turn off heat. Stir mixture so all cereal is coated. At end you may also add in candies and other optional items. Then quickly remove to a well greased cooking pan or casserole pan and spread evenly. You may pour additional candies or toppings on top of mix. Let sit until completely cool all the way through (approximately 1-2 hours).

Seasonal Tip: Melt chocolate pieces into marshmallow mixture before adding cereals. This will make bars "black." Then add orange candies or candy corn at the end to make a special Halloween snack. Or around Thanksgiving make as directed but instead of adding in candies, add dried cranberries and your favorite type of nuts. This works best with Cheerios as the cereal. Be creative and make something different every time.

--The Unique Mom

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