At Food52, we love recipes -- but do we always use them? Of course not. Because once you realize you don't always need a recipe, you'll make your favorite dishes a lot more often.
Today: Get in touch with your inner child with homemade cereal treats -- no recipe required.
Back in my elementary school bake sale days, one confection reigned supreme: Rice Krispie Treats. Their hands-on and carefree creation was an after-school activity, a pre-dinner party, or a just-before-bedtime reward. We'd double the amount of marshmallow and cut them into squares the size of our heads, creating a finished product that no 4th grader could resist. Our fingers would be gooey and our faces tinged with residual marshmallow streaks. When I brought them to the sale, I always sold out first.
I may not be in 4th grade anymore, but my love for this classic hasn't faded. In fact, I think it has grown because they are one snack that can be prepared in under 10 minutes almost anywhere. Even in my college dorm room. Now I spice them up, with layers of crushed cookies or sprinkles of spiced nuts. Toss, mix, fold, play, and stir up your inner child.
How to Make Any Cereal Treats Without a Recipe
1. Melt about 3 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan or the microwave. Add a bag of big fluffy marshmallows (or if you're like me and like them really marshmallow-y, add more than a bag).
2. Stir until totally melted on the stove, or put them back in the microwave on high until puffy.
3. Toss in whatever type of cereal you want; classic Rice Krispies, cocoa-flavored ones, and just about any other small, light, crunchy cereal shape make for delicious marshmallow treats. Dump in any other additions too, like chocolate chips, crushed cookies, or peanut butter chips. Go nuts. Speaking of, add some of those too.
4. Press the mixture into a greased parchment-coated pan in an even layer, and cool. Sometimes I go crazy and layer half the mixture and then add crushed chocolate cookies and top with the other half of the mixture.
5. Cut into enormous squares and remember your childhood.
Looking for more inspiration? Try these out:
Photos by James Ransom