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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.


Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cookies

May 4, 2011

Last week, while catching up on Kath’s blog, I stumbled upon fabulous baking inspiration. Although there was no recipe, Kath mentioned that she had a fabulous cookie. A Cinnamon Toast Crunch cookie, or something to that effect.

Those words planted a seed in my head that has been growing ever since. And for some inexplicable reason, I needed to make

I didn’t grow up eating Cinnamon Toast Crunch and I don’t ever eat it now, either. But that sweet, cinnamon-infused cereal wrapped up in a cookie seemed like heaven to me.

My friends, I don’t say this lightly. These are the best cookies I think I’ve ever made. The powdered sugar serves to give them a crisp, shortbread-like edge and the soft, chewy center is exactly what I need from a cookie. And when infused with butterscotch chips, Cinnamon toast crunch and ground cinnamon they take on a flavor that’s remarkably similar to the cereal itself, only better.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cookies

*2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
*1 cup canola oil
*1 cup sugar
*1 cup powdered sugar
*2 large eggs
*1 teaspoon baking soda
*1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
*1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*3 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
*1 cup butterscotch chips
*1 1/3 cups Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal

*Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two cookie sheets with butter or nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
*With an electric mixer, beat butter and oil together until combined. Add in sugar and powdered sugar and beat until creamy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
*With the mixer running at low speed, gradually add in the flour until just combined. Stir in the butterscotch chips and Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal by hand.
*Drop by heaping tablespoons onto cookie sheet or roll heaping tablespoons into a round ball (my preference) and place on cookie sheet. Flatten cookies slightly with your hand.
*Bake for 12 to 14 minutes (I found 13 minutes to be the lucky number) until just slightly golden around the edges. Cool on baking sheet 10 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Happy Baking!


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