Brown Butter Cheerios Protein Cereal Treat Bars

June 8, 2014

Cheerios Protein Cereal Treat Bar 1 | Espresso and Cream

As a food editor, I spend a good chunk of my days developing recipes for our brands. It’s a wonderful job, one that I’m so incredibly thankful for, and I love seeing the way recipes and food content can solve problems and provide inspiration for each season and family event.

But when it comes to blogging, lately I’ve felt quite conflicted.

It’s not that I don’t have recipes to share or food ideas, goodness knows I have plenty. But there are so many people sharing amazing food content that sometimes I worry that I’m just one more person adding to the chaos and noise. There are bloggers doing such inspiring work and magazines and food websites that continue to do one great thing after the next. I’m so energized by what they create that sometimes I can’t imagine what I have to add on this site is even worth sharing.

In those moments when I’m tempted to stop creating all together, I find focusing on why I create recipes or share personal stories on this space is the only remedy. I’ve long since abandoned writing for page views or sponsors or new followers (although, let’s be honest, they’re always nice.) I realize that my blog may very well be a small corner of the internet forever rather than the next mega site. More than anything, I write to share life and connect with other like-minded women (and a few men!) who are striving for the same things: authenticity, health, community, a deeper faith, and really great food.

It seems that the most popular type of writing voice on the web is one that’s witty, sarcastic and always chipper. I can’t tell you the number of bloggers I’ve met that are nothing like their online personas, and it always baffles me why everyone feels they need to fall in line with that type of writing. It’s so easy to start to believe that you need to write in that same popular style, but I for one and not all that witty in real life, rarely sarcastic and more direct than chipper. This is your free pass to hold me accountable if ever I seem to veer off course.

Brown Butter Cheerios Protein Cereal Treat Bar 2 | Espresso and Cream

I’m not sure there is any natural transition from authenticity in blogging to cereal treat bars, but this recipe is too good not to share. It’s everything I expect from a dessert: simple, delicious and easy to make. Working at General Mills the word “Rice Krispie” is completely off limits. I’m only sort of kidding, but I have found that my time there has given me a lot of appreciation for marshmallow bars using other types of cereal.

Recently I got a chance to take home a few boxes of the new Cheerios Protein and it didn’t take me long to realize the Cinnamon Almond flavor was the perfect base for a cereal treat bar. But of course I couldn’t stop there, I decided that browning the butter was the best way to bring out the flavor of the cereal. If you’ve never browned your butter before adding the marshmallows I would strongly suggest you give it a try. This little trick reaps so much in terms of flavor that you’ll never want to go back to making them any other way.

Brown Butter Cheerios Protein Cereal Bar
Recipe type: Dessert, Snack
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 9
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 bag (10 oz) miniature marshmallows
  • 5 cups Cheerios Protein Cereal (I used the cinnamon-almond flavor)
  • 4 oz milk or semi-sweet chocolate, melted
  1. Place butter in a nonstick saucepan over medium heat. Melt butter and continue to cook, stirring frequently, 3 to 4 minutes or until butter is brown and fragrant. Reduce heat to low and stir in the marshmallows. Continue to cook and stir until marshmallow mixture is melted and smooth.
  2. Stir in the cereal until well combined. Press mixture into an 8x8-inch square pan that is sprayed with cooking spray. If desired, drizzle with chocolate. Let set 30 minutes. Cut into 9 bars.


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  • Reply DessertForTwo June 9, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    gah. you’re so right. We’re scared to come across as anything but happy and peppy all the time, lest people think we’re a drag and leave. Thanks for the reminder 🙂

    I personally detest sarcasm. I think it’s the biggest waste of intellect. It’s up there with apathy for me. It’s funny for a while, yes, but it’s a lame way to spend your breath.

    • Reply MadisonMayberry June 10, 2014 at 11:42 pm

      Isn’t it crazy that we all feel the same way? But you, my dear, do such a great job at keeping it real while being yourself on your blog. I always love reading and it makes me feel happy without feeling fake. 🙂

  • Reply Sarah June 9, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    So so agree with you on this….especially on all the over the top peppiness (which can be tiring just to read)…there should be a limit on how many exclamation points one is allowed per post…

    • Reply MadisonMayberry June 10, 2014 at 11:43 pm

      Yes! I am glad I’m not the only one who feels this way. I don’t want to read a blog that is all doom and gloom most of the time, but I also don’t want to read a blog that makes it feel like everything is perfect all the time. Balance is key!

  • Reply Urban Wife June 9, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    Love what you said about focusing on the ‘why’ you create recipes & share stories! I would rather spend my precious time reading a small handful of blogs that are authentic and talk about real life. And recipes? They’re a wonderful bonus! I’m glad you have this blog. 🙂

    • Reply MadisonMayberry June 10, 2014 at 11:44 pm

      The “why” is SO so important. I recently read a post on Shanna’s blog (foodloveswriting.com) and was so encouraged that creating is important just for the sake of creating. That being creative and expressing that creativity is our God given responsibility. It made me feel better about the time and energy I pour into this site, because although it’s not changing the world, it’s good to be creative in some way or another.

      • Reply Urban Wife June 11, 2014 at 10:57 pm

        I took a look around her site and couldn’t find the post right away, but I’ll keep searching. Yes, that is absolutely so true about expressing our creativity because God gives us that responsibility and privilege – He wants us to use our talents, however that looks. Also, you never know whose life you might touch, by expressing your creativity through this blog.

  • Reply natalie@thesweetslife June 18, 2014 at 2:05 am

    I struggle with this too..all the time! However, the blog is mostly an outlet for me…I’m not doing it for money or accolades or anything like that, esp since there are so many other people out there who have already cornered the market. As long as I remember my reasons behind it and don’t let myself stress about it, it stays as an enjoyable outlet that is so different than my day to day job!

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