It's not just for breakfast!
As a kid, I thought an innovative thing to do with my morning cereal was to mix a bunch of them together (think: Honey Bunches of Oats + Cocoa Puffs + Cinnamon Toast Crunch). The combinations may not have always worked, but they definitely boosted breakfast's excitement level (and sugar high). As an adult, I have gotten a bit more creative—and you should too! Here, four unexpected ways to turn your favorite cereals into delicious desserts.
No-Bake Golden Grahams Pie Crust
In the bowl of a food processor, pulse 1 1/2 cups (7 oz.) of cereal until finely ground. In a medium bowl, mix the cereal crumbs with 1 stick of melted unsalted butter and a pinch of salt until evenly moistened. Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Freeze until firm, about 15 minutes. Fill with your favorite pie filling.
"Cereal and Milk" Cupcakes
Make the cupcakes: Prepare a box of white cake mix according to the package instructions. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of Fruity Pebbles. Divide the batter into two 12-cup muffin tins that have been lined with paper liners. Bake according to the time on the box or until the cupcakes are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.
Make the frosting: In a medium bowl, stir 1 cup of crushed Fruity Pebbles with 2 cups of heavy cream. Cover the bowl with plastic and refrigerate until the cereal has become soggy, about 10 minutes. Using a whisk, whip the heavy cream until firm and spoon (or pipe) onto the cupcakes. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Reese's Puffs Cereal Pops
Using a rolling pin, crush one 13-oz. box (8 cups) of cereal until finely ground. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, combine the cereal with one 8-oz. package softened cream cheese, 1 cup each chocolate frosting and creamy peanut butter until the cereal is evenly moistened. Using a tablespoon ice cream scoop, scoop level mounds onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Using your hands, roll the mounds into balls and place them back onto the baking sheet. Insert a lollipop stick into the center of each ball and freeze until firm, about 20 minutes.
Dip the pops: Make this chocolate shell recipe and holding the lollipop stick, dip the pops into the bowl of chocolate until completely coated, letting any excess drip off. Roll the pops in chocolate sprinkles and let the chocolate set up, about 5 minutes, before serving.
Caramelized Rice Krispies Bark
Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, toss 1 1/2 cups Rice Krispies with 1 tablespoon of corn syrup until evenly coated, then sprinkle 2 teaspoons granulated sugar onto the cereal and stir to coat. Spread the cereal onto the prepared baking sheet and bake until caramelized and golden, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely.
Make the bark: Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. In a glass bowl, heat 9-oz. of bittersweet chocolate in a microwave oven at high power in 30-second bursts until just melted. Stir until smooth. Scrape the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and spread it into a 12-by-8-inch rectangle. Sprinkle the caramelized cereal evenly over the melted chocolate. Chill until set, about 10 minutes, before breaking into pieces.