OA few days ago I mentioned the Betty Crocker Cereal Spooktacular contest. It’s still open and Betty Crocker is accepting entries. As for ours, some food bloggers were put in a separate division and submitted entries a while back. Winners will be posted in October, but I thought I’d tell you about our entries now.
Fuzz wanted to get in on the action even though she’s neither 18 nor a food blogger. Lizzie did too, so I let her be the designated dropped-cereal-cleaner-upper. First, we had to choose what cereal to work with, so Fuzz chose Golden Grahams and I chose Reese’s Peanut Butter Puffs because they have sentimental value – an old friend used to work in the cereal factory putting the peanut butter puffs through some sort of centrifuge. The details are sketchy, but I always think of this person when I see Reese’s Puffs. So with our two cereals, we came up with ideas.
Fuzz suggested making Golden Graham cupcakes, but rather then cupcakes, we decided to go with blondies and baked some chewy graham flavored blondies in Halloween Cups.
For the Reese’s cereal, we opted for a “No-Bake” treat and tried to do something with marshmallows. The results were these swamp monsters which can also be rats. I didn’t take a picture of the rat version, because I didn’t have licorice for the tail, but if you stick banana chips on top for ears, something red for the nose (e.g. dried cranberry) under the eyes and add a tail, you get a rat. But I liked the monsters better anyway.
So those were our entries. If you want to try making them yourself, here are the recipes.
Howlin’ Halloween Blondie Bites
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup lightly packed golden brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup Golden Grahams cereal, lightly crushed (divided use)
1 cup mini marshmallows
1/3 cup candy coated chocolates, brown, yellow, orange
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line 12 muffin cups with Halloween themed or Halloween colored paper liners.
Mix flour, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl; set aside.
Combine butter and brown sugar in a microwave-safe mixing bowl. Heat for 1 minute or until butter is melted; stir until smooth. Let cool slightly (about 5 minutes) then whisk in egg and vanilla. Gently stir in flour mixture, followed by half of the crushed cereal.
Spoon mixture into paper liners and bake for 18-20 minutes or until tops appear set and edges are very lightly browned. Meanwhile, mix together remaining crushed cereal and marshmallows. Quickly sprinkle marshmallows/cereal mixture over cups, dot with about 3 candy coated chocolates, and return to the oven for an additional 3 minutes. Remove from oven and let cups cool – centers should sink a little.
Break remaining Golden Grahams lightly and sprinkle broken Golden Grahams and more candy coated chocolates in center.
Peanut Butter Swamp Monsters
Butter or cooking spray for greasing
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 1/2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
5 cups Reese’s Puffs cereal
24 chocolate chips
24 miniature marshmallows
Rub 12 muffin cups with butter or spray with cooking spray.
Microwave 1 1/2 T. butter in a large microwave-safe mixing bowl for 30 seconds. Add marshmallows and heat for another minute on high to melt marshmallows. Add peanut butter and stir until smooth. Add cereal and stir to coat with marshmallow mixture.
Spoon mixture into muffin cups, dividing evenly and pressing tightly into cups with buttered fingers. Chill for about a half hour, then carefully remove from muffin cups by loosening with a knife and lifting.
Make eyes. Mash 24 mini marshmallows to make flat circles. Dab a little peanut butter on the flat end of a chocolate chip and adhere each chocolate chip to a marshmallow. Press eyes into the cereal balls, using a little peanut butter if necessary to adhere.
You can serve these little guys on a tray, or grind up more Reese’s Puffs and set them on ground cereal so they look like they’re sitting in dirt
Variation: Stick banana chips on their heads for ears, red Trix or M&Ms below the eyes for a mouth, a string of licorice for the tail and you have Swamp Mice.