When I was a kid, I wasn’t allowed to eat sugary cereals on school days. I could eat them all I wanted during the summer and weekends, but weekdays….not so much. This kind of bummed me out, because I loved Lucky Charms and Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Corn Pops and pretty much any other cereal that wasn’t the most nutritionally sound choice. Now before you start feeling bad for me – you should probably know that my Dad woke up early every school day to make my brother and me an insanely good homemade breakfast. We’re talking Belgian waffles, pancakes, crepes, that thing where cut a hole in toast and cook an egg in it……breakfasts totally unworthy of elementary school kids and probably the reason why I’m still so obsessed with good breakfast as an adult. So I really have no reason to complain. But man, do I love sugary cereal.
So when I could eat my beloved Lucky Charms and other “not so healthy” cereals, I would go a little crazy. There was a whole art to making my bowl of cereal. First of all, I would pour as much cereal as possible into one bowl and I would never, and I mean never, eat just one kind of cereal at a time. At minimum, I would combine at least three different kinds in one bowl (I had to make up for school days when it was forbidden). The last step to my perfect, crazy huge bowl of cereal was a small splash of milk. And then I would plop myself on a comfy chair and watch some fantastically cheesy Saturday morning TV. My middle school Saturdays were spent watching 90210 reruns and eating multiple bowls of cereal……it was amazing.
I’ve been feeling kind of nostalgic lately and wanted to recreate my favorite old school Saturday morning treat in the form of a dessert. Luckily, this turned out to be pretty easy to accomplish. Basically, I made the most delicious, marshmallowy, cereal-packed Rice Krispies Treat ever (minus any actual Rice Krispies) and threw in some brown butter to class them up a bit….cause you know, I’m an adult now. Way too easy and way too good. I ate four squares the first day I made them. The best part about these cereal bars is that you can make them with whatever combination of cereals you like. You could even be a bit boring and make them with just one kind of cereal, but seriously….where’s the fun in that?
The combination I’m liking most right now is the perfect balance of Lucky Charms, Corn Pops, Cocoa Puffs, and Cocoa Pebbles. It’s like everything I dreamed of as a kid in one deliciously soft, crunchy bite. Oh and as a total side note, if you ever see Chocolate Lucky Charms – you have to buy them. It’s as if they took the one bad part of Lucky Charms (i.e. the cereal part) and made it into irresistible chocolaty goodness. I’m not allowed to buy them anymore, because I might have eaten an entire box in one sitting and then went into a shame spiral when I realized there are supposedly 16 servings in a box. But that’s just me…..you might be able to control yourself around cereal. These Saturday Morning Cereal Bowl Treats, however, are another story. I have yet to meet a person who can control themselves around them. Maybe it’s because it transports them to the days of carefree Saturdays, when everything was good and the Soapnet channel still existed and 90210 reruns aired all the time…….oooh the good old days.
Saturday Morning Marshmallow Cereal Treats
- Yield: 16 squares
½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick), cut into small cubes
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
11 ounces mini-marshmallows (about 5 ½ cups)
7 cups cereal of your choice
Line the bottom and sides of a 13 x 9 pan with foil and then lightly grease with cooking spray.
Place the butter in a large pot and cook over medium heat until it smells nutty and fragrant and is a light golden brown color. Once butter is browned, turn the heat down to low and add in the salt, vanilla extract and mini-marshmallows and stir until the marshmallows are completely melted and the mixture is smooth.
Remove the pot from heat and immediately stir in the cereal. You can also add in an extra handful of mini-marshmallows at this point if you’re feeling crazy. Carefully pour the cereal-marshmallow mixture into the prepared pan and press into an even layer. Let cool for at least one hour, then cut into large squares and enjoy!