breakfast, Dessert, Food, Kids, Uncategorized

Beyond Breakfast: Fun with Cereal

Growing up, I loved Grape Nuts. I know it’s weird, but Grape Nuts cereal reminds me of cold winter days in Indiana. I’d be eating my bowl of Grape Nuts with orange juice from concentrate while wishing I could play in the snow. As I got older, my palette expanded to include classics such as Lucky Charms and Golden Grahams. Many a college breakfast included a bowl of Lucky Charms.

These days, I’ve had fewer breakfasts that consist of just cereal, however it is still a staple in our home. Cereal has become something that we use as a base for dessert and snacks. Here are two simple recipes for desserts using my two longtime favorite cereals.

Grape Nuts Pie

This pie features a crust made from Grape Nuts cereal as well as a sprinkle of Grape Nuts as a garnish. This recipe will yield a crunchy, Grape Nutty crust with a touch of cinnamon for warmth. If the cereal’s texture is too much for your liking, it can be adjusted by changing the ratio of cereal to flour, just be sure to have at least two cups total of grains. I used almond flour for this recipe as I thought it added to the flavor. The custard is a simple vanilla pudding recipe that I use for my banana cream pie.

Crust:

1 cup Grape Nuts cereal
1 cup almond flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a food processor, combine all ingredients. Process for about 45 seconds, or until the mixture is well combined and moist. Press into a 9- inch pie plate and bake for 15 minutes.

I used more Grape Nuts for this crust (1.5 cups). I liked it, but the kids thought it was too much cereal.

Filling:

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 egg yolks, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
sprinkle of cinnamon

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, flour, and salt. Stir in milks and cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture starts to bubble. Cook about two minutes more, then lower heat to low.

Stir a small quantity of milk mix into the eggs to temper the eggs, then immediately and slowly add to the pan of milk. Cook for two minutes, still stirring constantly. Add vanilla and a dash of cinnamon, then remove from heat.

Pour the pudding mixture into the cooled pie crust. Sprinkle with Grape Nuts cereal. Chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours. Serve with whipped cream.

Whipped cream:
Combine 1 cup heavy cream and 1/4 cup powdered sugar. Whip with a hand mixer or stand mixer until soft peaks form. Serve immediately.

Lucky Charms Marshmallow Treats

These are just like traditional Rice Krispy treats, but better. We like the colorful marshmallow on marshmallow flavor with the cereal. Lucky Charms treats are super easy to make, and are a fun quick dessert or snack.

1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
2 cups mini marshmallows
3 cups Lucky Charms cereal

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add mini marshmallows to the pan and stir until melted. Add cereal and stir gently until completely coated.

Line an 8 x 8 inch baking dish with parchment paper. Then use a spatula to scoop the cereal mixture into the dish and evenly press it into the dish. Let cool for about 30 minutes, and enjoy!

We’ve made cereal marshmallow treats with other kinds of cereal, with favorites being Fruity Pebbles, Cocoa Pebbles, and Golden Grahams with chocolate chips for some hand-held s’mores. Here’s to sweet treats on cool fall days, beyond breakfast. Happy trails!

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