Hey everyone. Apologies for the delay/hiatus, it wasn’t intentional. True story: I would’ve had this post up much earlier than now, but I ran into a little…snafu along the way.
That snafu being, the recipe and the resulting product was a hot mess.
Cereal treats are generally thought of as one of the easiest desserts and recipes in general to make. They have minimal ingredients, minimal actual ‘baking’, and they come together very quickly. But as with any baking recipe, cereal treats are a science experiment. Getting any of the ingredients, proportions, or steps wrong can throw the whole thing off.
As I found out.
I knew I wanted to want apple cider cereal treats for a while leading up to autumn. I really didn’t want to compromise on the apple cider flavor and for that reason, I wanted to try and include actual apple cider in the recipe. I figured so long as I kept the proportion of liquid at a minimum, it would be alright.
Lol, I was wrong.
It seemed like it was going to work out when I was putting it together. But then when I sampled them, I was horrified to discover that although the flavor was, sure enough, spot on of apple cider, the texture of the cereal was all wrong. The apple cider had made the rice cereal soggy. They were a complete wash.
I’m pretty stubborn on these kinds of things, so it was back to the drawing board. Using actual liquid apple cider was out, but I still really didn’t want to compromise on the treats having that apple cider flavor. Fortunately, I found perfect substitutes: apple cider mix, and apple pie spice. They’re powdered, so they don’t throw off the proportions of the base recipe and make the cereal soggy, and they still bring the apple flavor to the treats that give them the fall flair that I intended.
A few other ingredients additions really pushed these over the top: apple flavored cinnamon cereal and browned butter. The first try may have been a wash, but I was beyond satisfied with how the second try turned out. They made for a really delicious autumn dessert that’s still easy to make and just as easy to share (or not share).
Apple Cider Cereal Treats
- 3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) of unsalted butter
- 3 (10 oz) bags mini marshmallows
- 2 packets of apple cider mix
- 2 teaspoons apple pie spice
- 4 cups apple cinnamon toast flavored cereal, slightly crushed
- 18 oz box of rice krispie cereal*
- cinnamon sugar, for sprinkling
*If you prefer extra gooey/rich rice krispies, then you may not need to use all of the rice krispie cereal. I tend to go by ‘feeling’ it out as I stir for this, so if you prefer them extra gooey and rich (as I do) start out by using a little over half the bag, then add more as you go, stopping when it ‘feels right’ to you texturally.
Spray a 13 x 9 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
In a medium sized saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat.
Cook, gently swirling pan constantly, until the butter begins to foam, the particles begin to turn golden brown and butter smells nutty, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and continue swirling the pan until the butter is a rich brown, about 15 seconds longer.
In a large pot, cook down the marshmallows over medium-low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon until completely melted, about 7-10 minutes.
Turn off the heat and remove pot from the stove.
Stir in the browned butter, the apple pie spice and the apple cider drink mix.
Spray a silicone spatula with cooking spray on both sides. Stir in the cereal.
Scrape into prepared pan and press down lightly into an even layer. (If necessary, spray hands with cooking spray hands to press mixture flat.)
Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on top.
Let cool/set completely, about one hour. Cut into squares or bars.
Sharing at Fiesta Friday #508.