10.29.2012

Foodie Rhi-flection: Monster Mash Bars Recipe

 
Sooo I utterly suck at life sometimes and October was a bad month for us financially. It's a long story but here we are at the end of the month and I couldn't afford to grocery shop without dipping into our savings. Before anyone panics... we're fine! There's plenty of food around here and if I needed it I could ask my in-laws to pick me up something... it's just one of those between pay-check spots when nothing seems to go together and I have to get creative.

As luck would have it the recipe I was going to make for last night's Dexter + Snacks night with our friends was one I had everything for... until I went to get the brown sugar out. *facepalm* Crap-on-a-cracker! The hubs was going to run out for some but by the time he'd done that I'd be late and so I went into freak-out mode tearing apart my cupboards for an alternative treat I could make.

As it happens my FIL had dropped by earlier in the day with boxes of cereal for the kids. Count Chocula, Boo Berry, and Frankberry. Pretty much the only food we already had tons of was cold cereal so I decided I had to come up with something to make from them.

The answer... a mash-up of Rice Krispie Treats and Count Chocula. Only I had no idea what I was doing. After a quick search of the web I found something promising on The Marveous Misadventures of a Foodie. Only something went wrong in the process—it could have been the butter I added but I doubt it... cold peanut butter was my best guess—and I was left with a wad of thick marshmallowy peanut butter in the middle of a bunch of cereal. There was much F-bombing going on as I went into more panic. How could I fix it? I was out of marshmallows. My guest would arrive in 40 minutes. I was on the verge of tears. More F-bombs. Lightbulb!

Thus my 'bandage' for the problem actually made them even yummier and inspired the name of the recipe. You might like it, it's definitely a sugar rush and sure to be a hit with kids.

 

Monster Mash Bars

Bars

3 Tablespoons Butter, Plus 1 Tablespoon to grease bowl, Plus 1 Tablespoon to grease pan

4 Cups Mini Marshmallows

1/2 Cup Peanut Butter (note: if using Adam's PB as I did let it hit room temp before using!)

6 Cups Count Chocula Cereal

Glaze

1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar

1/2 Cup Light Corn Syrup

1/2 Cup Peanut Butter

Orange Gel Food Coloring** (optional)


Grease 13x9 glass pan with butter*, set aside.

Grease large microwave safe bowl with butter and place additional butter inside. Add mini marshmallows to bowl. Microwave on high for 2 minutes, making sure they don't overflow the bowl. Stir in peanut butter and microwave for another minute or until marshmallows are melted. Quickly mix in cereal and pour into prepared pan. Using a spatula or your hand and a piece of parchment paper, gently press mixture into pan until evenly distributed.

While bars are cooling place corn syrup and sugar into a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until sugar dissolves and mixture begins to boil. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter. If using Orange Gel Food Coloring about 1/4 teaspoon should do, quickly stir into mixture until smooth. Gently pour mixture over bars in pan from one end to the other. Quickly smooth with a spatula until evenly spread.

Once bars and glaze are cool slice into wedges*** and serve.
 
* I added butter to the recipe I found because I compared it to the traditional rice krispie treats recipe and didn't like that it was omitted. I also prefer to grease my pans with butter for the sake of taste. I just really dislike cooking spray's aftertaste but you can certainly swap it in if you like it. :)

** I bet you could use regular food coloring but ever since I started using gel I prefer it for the high pigment and less mess factor.

*** You can certainly change the shape! I considered using a skull cookie cutter of mine to make these more festive but didn't have time to get fancy. I chose wedge shapes 'cause it's Halloween and thought of Count Chocula's vampire teeth. ;)

 
Didn't they turn out colorful? The mix of peanut butter and chocolate was a hit. Now I need to find something to do with the Boo Berry cereal. Gack!
 
If you try the recipe let me know what you think... I'm really bad at describing what to do when I write one up. Thank goodness it was an adaptation of 3 others put together so I could remember how I made it today. :P Happy Haunting!
 
 

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