Sunday, June 30, 2013

Funfetti Fluff Cheerio Treats (a BBQ #SundaySupper Treat!)

The end of the school year is so interesting to deal with as a cook. Not only are the kids going nuts because it's warm outside and they can see the "vacation light" at the end of the tunnel, but you find yourself stuck with the ends of things like milk, crackers, arrowroot cookies, cereal, produce, meat and condiments. Some of these were unopened by the end of the last day (the 21st), so I could at least bring them to the food bank - but when it came to the open stuff the last two weeks of class were filled with random "toss in" ingredients (not that I followed a standardized recipe anyway). Chicken noodle casserole got an extra layer of cheese, spaghetti sauce got a dollop of pizza sauce and a whack of pureed veggies, meatballs got made by hand at home (we usually resort to pre-fab for time / safety concerns) with a host of fun "use ups" (yes I will share that), and cereal made it into everything baked. And I mean everything... muffins, brownies, cookies, trail mixes and fruit crumbles all got either crisp rice or Cheerios as a "surprise" addition.

Considering that we only bought cereal in "jumbo" boxes, I was flabbergasted that I got through as much as I did - now I only have two half boxes sitting in my pantry! One of my favourite "flash of duh" moments was after making a batch of Rice Krispie Squares for one of the school "party" events - we had a ton of Cheerios hanging around, and cereal squares are cheap, easy and kid-friendly, so why not switch up the main ingredient? By the end, I managed to shove 425 grams (just over 15 cups) of them into the bars, plus a few jars of Marshmallow Fluff and a handful of candy coated chocolate!

Cheerio Bars

We toted the bars to the "end of the year picnic" as the dessert for the hot-dog meal, and the leftovers became "afternoon snack" with a cereal (surprise!) trail mix and most of the leftover watermelon and grapes (the hot dogs on the other hand, became this). These are such a perfect sweet to bring to a potluck, picnic or BBQ, when you don't want to fuss with a grand cake, don't have cooler space or enough ice for ice cream, don't want the bother of washing utensils to eat and need to appeal to both kids and adults alike! Not to mention you don't have to fire up the oven, and with the premade Fluff (a total revelation to me when my predecessor in the school kitchen told me about it), you hardly have to turn on the stove either.

This week for #SundaySupper Jennie at The Messy Baker is hosting a Summer BBQ Party with the crew - and you're invited! Together we have everything you’ll need to throw a delicious summer barbecue party this season... from grilled goodies to side dishes, desserts and even a cold beverage or three. You can't go wrong when this many cooks are (out of) the kitchen!

Hot Off the Grill:

On the Side:

Sweet Tooth:

In the Cooler:


Funfetti Fluff Cheerio Treats
Makes 24 squares
1/3 cup coconut oil or dairy-free margarine
2 ½ jars (7 ½ oz each) Marshmallow Fluff
1 tbsp honey
375g Cheerios (or your favourite "toasted oat O" cereal)
50g Cheerios (or your favourite "toasted oat O" cereal), crushed finely
⅓ cup sprinkles (I used something called "Candy Coated Chocolate Teenies")
    1. Melt coconut oil or margarine in a (very) large pot. 
    2. Add Marshmallow Fluff and honey; cook over low heat about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. 
    3. Remove from heat and stir in the whole cereal, crushed cereal and sprinkles (or candy) until well coated. 
    4. Press mixture firmly and evenly into 2 (well greased) 9x13” pans - I suggest foil lasagna ones for easy transport and cleanup! (Note: if you want "tall" squares, make one 9x13" pan and one 9" pan). 
    5. Cool 1 hour, then cut into squares. 
    Amount Per Serving
    Calories: 169.5
    Total Fat: 4.6 g
    Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
    Sodium: 118.2 mg
    Total Carbs: 33.9 g
    Dietary Fiber: 1.9 g
    Protein: 1.9 g