Cristina Suarez Krumsick is the chef and proprietor of catering outfit No Bake Makery. She has a cookbook with the same name, and shares with TODAY.com one of her favorite ingredients to no-bake with: cereal!
Unlike baking, no-baking allows you to open your pantry and whip up a delicious treat without the hassle of following very precise measurements, buying specific ingredients, and of course, pre-heating an oven – it’s perfect for when you have guests on the fly.
One item most of us almost always have in our kitchen is breakfast cereal or granola. There are so many reasons cereal is a pantry staple: it's insanely addicting, perfect for a quick breakfast -- and last but not least, it's a killer ingredient for no-bake treats!
Sure, we all know about Rice Krispie treats, but there is a no-bake use for virtually every type of cereal. Take Chex for example. For years, I ate Chex cereal with milk and also used it to make homemade Chex mix. While those are both great ways to eat it, adding melted chocolate ups the ante big time. It’s like those little holes in the cereal are meant to be chocolate traps. The texture gives us the perfect crunch we need for a stand-out cluster!
While Chex wins for one of the best textures in the cereal world, flavor-packed varieties bring a lot to the table as well. Notorious in the category is Cinnamon Toast Crunch -- this cereal is practically dessert on its own. In fact, I went through a phase where I ate Cinnamon Toast Crunch with almond milk, honey and chopped almonds for dessert. I was addicted to the combination!
One day, when I was in the thick of coming up with different truffle recipes, I decided to take inspiration from that deadly combo and morph it into a truffle. From the first bite, it was so clearly this cereal’s best use. It’s so fun to watch your guests trying to guess that familiar flavor.
Try these recipes from “No Bake Makery” and see for yourself!
Makes about 25 treats
- 12 chocolate sandwich cookies (Joe-Joes are my favorite)
- 1 cup Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal (store brand or General Mills)
- 5 tablespoons unsalted sliced almonds
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/4 cup almond milk
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 11/2 cups dark chocolate chopped into quarter-size pieces (or Wilton Candy Melts)
Line a cookie sheet with wax paper and set aside.
In a food processor, process the cookies and cereal until fine crumbs form, about 1 minute.
Add 3 tablespoons of the almond slices and 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon and process for another 30 seconds.
Add the honey and almond milk and process until a dough begins to form, about 30 seconds. Transfer the mixture to a clean bowl.
Roll the dough into 1-inch balls.
Place on the prepared cookie sheet and refrigerate uncovered for 45 minutes.
Roughly chop the remaining 2 tablespoons almond slices and place them in a small bowl.
Mix in the remaining 1 teaspoon cinnamon and the salt to make your cinnalmond mixture. Set aside.
Melt and temper the chocolate (or melt Wilton Candy Melts). Dip each ball into the dark chocolate and place back on the cookie sheet.
Sprinkle with the cinnalmond mixture.
Refrigerate until solid, about 1 hour.
Chex This Out
- Makes about 40 treats
- 2 cups plain Chex cereal
- 1 cup roughly chopped or broken salted pretzels
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 11/2 cups white chocolate chopped into quarter-size pieces (or Wilton Candy Melts)
Line a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil and coat it with nonstick spray. Set aside.
Combine the cereal, pretzels, and cinnamon in a large bowl.
Melt and temper the white chocolate (or melt Wilton Candy Melts).
Pour the white chocolate evenly over the mixture and stir until distributed evenly.
Using a rubber spatula, spread the mixture evenly over the bottom of the prepared pan.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until solid.
Transfer to a cutting board. Break or cut with a sharp knife into two-bite pieces.