Monday, May 30, 2011

Tasty Marshmallow Treats

This actually documents the first time I made marshmallow treats at home, which is curious because I've always been of the opinion that homemade treats blow the boxed ones out of the water. The recipe I used I found here, and is really easy to prepare.

Stuff you should obtain:
1/2 bag of tiny marshmallows (technically I used 4.75 ounces, not like I weighed it or anything)
2.5 cups of cereal
2 tablespoons of margarine

Note about ingredients: I only had half a bag of marshmallows, so I scaled the ingredients in the recipe accordingly. I used margarine instead of butter - I don't think it really caused a difference. You can use whatever cereal you have laying around - I used Frosted Cheerios, which turned out nicely, but I'm sure there are lots of kinds that can make it tasty.

What you should do:

Before you begin:
I really recommend speed with this recipe. The marshmallow mix gets obnoxiously sticky real fast, and I'm not sure how successful you would be with mixing the cereal if you waited at all after taking it out of the microwave. So my tip? Make sure to measure out the cereal and be ready to mix. Also, make sure to grease the pan that you are putting the treats in - I would not want to try to carve out the food if you didn't.

1) Mix the butter and marshmallows!
Pretty obvious step here. Just be sure to choose a big enough bowl to fit the cereal that you'll mix in later.

2) Nuke it!
The recipe says to microwave the mixture 1-2 minutes, stirring every thirty seconds. I ended up cooking it for 1.5 minutes, taking it out when the marshmallow fluff was bubbling and thoroughly mixed. I have no idea if you can overcook this, I wouldn't want to find out.

3) Mix the cereal!
Upon taking out the bowl of marshmallow fluff, immediately stir in the cereal. Mine got really sticky really fast, so be prepared to have your hands stick to everything. I stopped mixing once it looked like the marshmallow covered everything decently, and I didn't feel like struggling to stir any more.

4) Place in the pan!
Just dump the cereal mixture in the pan. The recipe says to pack the mixture in with "the back of a buttered spoon", and I will tell you that that is great advice. Without it I definitely would have struggled to not have cereal pieces attached to everything except the pan at the end.

5) Refrigerate!
Place the pan in the fridge to set the marshmallow. I left it in for about 3 hours or so.

Cut into pieces and eat!
After the marshmallow has cooled and set, take the pan out and use a butter knife to cut into square pieces.

Now you're ready to eat and enjoy!

Leftover Capability:
This isn't really a meal, so you can't really have leftovers, but I got 6 good sized treats out of the half-recipe. You can probably get more if you do the full recipe and use a bigger pan/make thinner treats.

But What About My Money?:
Frosted Cheerios$3.41
Margarine (4 sticks)$1.89

I actually have no idea how much the marshmallows cost - they're leftovers from something else that my mom gave me. Considering how little cereal and margarine were used, I'd say that this recipe comes out to pretty cheap, especially considering the improved taste.

Final Grade: A
This was a great thing to slap together - I got rid of a bag of marshmallows that would probably have gone stale, and it didn't take much work at all. Not to mention, they taste really good and the recipe is easy to change - just insert whatever cereal you have laying around and you're off! I know I'm definitely going to make this one again.

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