Kids and Allergies: Cranberry-Oat Cereal Bars
For one, it was egg-free to begin with, assuming you can find egg-free marshmallows. I've never had a problem with that, though marshmallow creme is another matter. Ask me how many jars I gave away two Christmases ago when I assumed and didn't check the label.
For another, it's super easy to make -- it's basically Rice Krispie Treats with a twist. Call it thinking outside the cereal box. It's even easier if you use "no cutting required" mini-marshmallows. And I bet a lot of other cereals would work just as well, though we're limited by the doctor's dye-avoidance edict and my sugary cereal ban.
Having had these, I'd never go back to Rice Krispie Treats even if I weren't boycotting Kellogg's. This variation gets a nutritional boost by using Cheerios instead of Rice Krispies and, as a happy coincidence, it tastes better, too.
Cranberry-Oat Cereal Bars
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter -- I used margarine
- 1 bag (10 ounces) marshmallows
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (I left this out)
- 6 cups toasted oat cereal
- 1 cup dried cranberries or raisins
1. Spray a 10-by-15-inch rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Line with waxed paper ( I used parchment paper, though I've never used either with Rice Krispie Treats); spray paper with cooking spray, and set aside.
2. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add marshmallows and salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until marshmallows have melted, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in cereal and dried cranberries.
3. Immediately transfer mixture to prepared baking sheet. Using a spatula (or your fingers) coated with cooking spray, press in quickly and firmly. Let cool, about 1 hour; cut into 24 bars (3 rows lengthwise by 8 rows crosswise). Store in an airtight container up to 2 days.
I'll let you know if they ever try them. Little Guy's been too occupied with the granola bars I made the same day, and Big Guy hates cranberries this week even though he loves cranberry juice. Their cousins, however, loved them.
Copyright 2008 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.