Apparently it’s cereal week around here. Monday I shared six fun ways to enjoy your cereal, Tuesday was all about cereal crusted French toast, and today I’m sharing my smores cereal bar recipe. It’s not just about picking up a bowl of cereal and eating it anymore. Nope, this is about cooking and transforming cereal beyond just your typical crispy marshmallow treats.
Of course my smores cereal bars started out as a recipe for crispy rice treats but morphed into something so much more. Golden grahams are the perfect vehicle to turn anything into a smores flavored treat (you saw my smores sandwich in those six ways to enjoy cereal, right?), so all you need to add is chocolate and marshmallow somehow.
Me? I add it two ways because that’s how I roll. The marshmallow comes from the melted marshmallows I add to get the Golden Grahams to turn into a cereal bar and the mini marshmallows I add to give it added texture, taste, and looks. The chocolate? Cocoa powder mixed in with the melted marshmallows to keep it from getting too sweet, and chocolate chips to add the appropriate level of melty chocolate goodness.
I whipped these up last week for my husband’s going away party I hosted before he left for almost six weeks in China. Everything about the bbq was meant to be low key and uniquely American, and what’s more American than smores and marshmallow treats? Exactly.
I started out with a 13×9 pan of these, and even with two other desserts on the menu, they were devoured. They were an addicting dessert that was sweet without being overly so. I know more than one adult who had second and even third helpings of it, and that never happens.
Smores Cereal Bars Recipe
Just like most marshmallow treats, you start by melting your marshmallows and butter in a heavy saucepan with some corn syrup.
While I normally use light corn syrup for this, I was out and subbed dark corn syrup. It worked just fine, but I’d still recommend going with the traditional light corn syrup. I also used the big marshmallows for melting because I discovered two open packages plus a third unopened package in my smores prep box. (You have one in your pantry, too, right? I’m not joking! No comments on the 10 pounds of oatmeal I also purchased thinking I was out of oatmeal – you’ll see some oatmeal recipes coming soon….)
Stir the three ingredients together on medium low heat until the marshmallows are completely melted. Little Miss was so proud that she could help make these. Kids and cooking? They need to learn sooner rather than later, and this is the perfect way to give them confidence with your supervision.
While the marshmallows are melting, add your Golden Grahams to a large bowl. I like to use a large bowl with a wide base so that when I’m stirring, I crush fewer of the cereal pieces than I would using a more narrow or smaller bowl.
You’ll also want to prep your 9×13 pan by rubbing it with butter. Here’s where I get sneaky. I use the wrapper from the butter I added to my pan already. This uses up any butter that may be left behind on the wrapper and also keeps my fingers clean. It’s a win/win. When I’m using a dairy free substitute, I’ll simply add a bit to a piece of paper towel and use that to rub along the bottom and sides of my pan to grease it.
Once the marshmallows are almost all the way melted and ready, remove from the heat. Add the cocoa powder and stir. As soon as that is incorporated, add the vanilla and mix again.
Immediately pour the marshmallow mixture over your Golden Grahams in the bowl. You don’t want to give it a chance to cool down and harden at all. Stir your marshmallow into your cereal right away, being careful to crush as few as possible. Once your cereal is almost all the way coated in the cocoa marshmallow mixture, add your chocolate chips and mini marshmallows. Continue stirring until they’re distributed and the your smores cereal bar mixture is thoroughly coated in marshmallow.
Pour or plop it into your prepared 13×9 pan. Using your fingers (clean and greased with a touch of butter if the mixture is at all sticky – mine was cooled enough that it was fine), spread what will be your smores cereal bars evenly throughout the pan.
Let sit on your counter for at least two hours to fully cool and harden. Cut into squares with a sharp knife to give good edges to your smores cereal bars. You can store this, tightly covered, at room temperature for up to three days.
Smores cereal bars? Cereal crusted French toast? What’s your favorite cereal recipe?
The use of cocoa powder gives this a great chocolate flavor without making it overly sweet, given the addition of marshmallows twice. Use semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips to give it another depth of flavor.
- 10 oz regular size marshmallows
- 1/4 c corn syrup
- 6 T butter
- 1/4 c cocoa powder
- 1 t vanilla
- 8 c Golden Grahams
- 1 c chocolate chips
- 1 c mini marshmallows
- In a heavy saucepan, melt together your large marshmallows, corn syrup, and butter, stirring occasionally.
- While this is melting, grease a 13x9 pan with butter on the bottoms and sides. Add your Golden Grahams to a large bowl.
- Once your marshmallows have melted, remove from the heat. Add the cocoa powder and stir until incorporated. Add the vanilla and do the same.
- Immediately pour the marshmallow mixture over the cereal and stir gently to avoid crushing cereal where possible.
- Once it is mostly mixed together, add chocolate chips and mini marshmallows. Stir again until all the cereal is thoroughly coated and the extra ingredients are distributed evenly throughout.
- Pour the mixture into your greased 13x9 pan and gently use your (greased) fingers to spread into an even layer throughout the pan. Let harden in the pan at room temperature for at least two hours.
- Cut with a sharp knife when ready to serve. This will store at room temperature, tightly sealed, for up to three days.
Check out some of my other favorite smores recipes!