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Monday, July 26, 2021

Found and Tested: Chex™ Muddy Buddies™ Bars

I found this recipe on the inside of a box of Chex™ cereal. I don’t normally print recipes that aren’t mine as I don’t want to take someone’s income away from them. In this case that seems unlikely – they want you to buy their cereal -so I’m reproducing it here. At the moment, it can also be found online.

This recipe has several things going for it. The ingredients are easy to find, it tastes of chocolate, it contains whole grain cereal so is a source of fibre, it doesn’t require use of an oven, and it’s gluten free (but check ingredient labels to make sure).

8 cups Rice Chex™ cereal
¼ cup butter or margarine
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
¾ cup creamy peanut butter
1 250 g bag miniature marshmallows (about 5 cups)

In large bowl, place cereal; set aside.

Spray 13 x 9-inch pan with cooking spray. In very large microwavable bowl, microwave butter, chocolate chips and peanut butter uncovered on High 1 minute. Stir; microwave about 30 seconds longer or until mixture can be stirred smooth.

Add marshmallows; toss until coated. Microwave uncovered on High 1 minute 15 seconds to 1 minute 45 seconds, stirring until mixture is well blended.

Immediately gently stir in cereal until evenly coated. Press cereal mixture evenly into pan using spatula sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle lightly with icing sugar. If desired, refrigerate about 20 minutes, or cool completely at room temperature until bars are set. Cut into 8 rows by 4 rows. Makes 32 bars.

Tips: For easy removal of bars, line pan with foil; grease or spray with nonstick cooking spray. When bars are set, use a spatula to lift entire recipe from pan. Cut into bars.

Store bars in refrigerator tightly covered if room temperature is warm and bars are too sticky. © General Mills

My Comments:

I followed the recipe as closely as I could given what I had on hand. There were a few differences.

I don’t keep cooking spray on hand so I greased the pan generously with margarine, using a paper towel.

I don’t own a “very large microwavable bowl” so I melted the margarine, chocolate chips, peanut butter and marshmallows in a large glass measuring cup, then added the contents to the large plastic bowl the cereal was in, rather than the other way around.

I only had regular marshmallows on hand so I quartered them with scissors and measured out 250 g with my kitchen scale.

I didn’t bother sprinkling the icing sugar on top.

The recipe was easy to make and came out fine and I would definitely make it again.

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Found and Tested: Microwave Baked Cookies

The other day I wanted to bake cookies but I hate using the oven when I’ve got the air conditioner going full-blast. It just seems counterproductive. So I asked Google if it was possible to bake cookies in the microwave. Most of the sites it turned up were about baking single cookies in a mug, which is not a good option in my cookie-loving household. But there was one that dealt with half-a-dozen at a time. Check it out: here.

It’s not so much a microwave cookie recipe as a technique for making your favourite cookie recipe in the microwave. I just wanted to avoid heating up the kitchen, but this opens so many possibilities. Fresh, warm, home-baked cookies whenever you want. Well, maybe not the middle of the night. Pretty sure husband and cat would not appreciate the microwave beeping them out of a sound sleep.

I’ve tried it with both my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe and my favourite oatmeal cookie recipe. The chocolate chip ones came out perfect, if a bit pale, though I had to cook them much longer than the website suggests if I didn’t want to eat them off the pan with a spoon. Microwaves do vary, so you’ll need to experiment. The oatmeal cookies came out much thinner and chewier than usual but that could be more due to the fact that I accidentally used graham flour instead of whole wheat. They were still quite edible.

I was baking six at a time spaced around the edges of a round silicone cake pan placed on top of a microwave plate. It worked well and the cookies were easy to remove from the pan. For a shapelier cookie (important if you’re sticking two together with icing between them) you can place your cookie dough in scalloped silicone patty pans.