Friday, June 4, 2010

Easy and tasty...that's my kind of treat

Confession time! A couple months ago, it was time for the semi-annual conference of our church. I got what I thought (at the time) was a brilliant idea. Actually, I still think it was a brilliant idea. I just never carried all the way through with it. My idea was to make a bunch of yummy treats for my neighbors and friends and put them in a basket to enjoy over the 2 days of the conference broadcasts.

I'd seen a recipe on a blog for a peanut butter crispy treat that looked intriguing and thought it would make a great addition to my "basket o'treats." Sadly, when I went looking for it, I couldn't find it. I did some searching around online and found a lot of recipes that seemed similar. I combined a little of this one and a little of that one and came up with my own version of this tasty, easy treat.

The great things about this treat are numerous: you can make the recipe in a matter of minutes, it utilizes ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen, it's very inexpensive, and the flavors really compliment one another. It's a great blend of crunchy and creamy, salty and sweet. Want to know how to make it? OK, I'll tell you!

Peanut Butter Cereal Treats
1 c. light corn syrup
1 c. sugar
1 c. peanut butter
6 c. corn chex cereal
1 c. salted peanuts
Spray a 9 X 13 pan with cooking spray; set aside. In a small saucepan, bring the corn syrup and sugar to a boil. Remove from heat and whisk in peanut butter. Combine cereal and peanuts in a large bowl. Pour syrup mixture over cereal and peanuts; stir to combine. Press cereal mixture in to the pan. When cooled and firm, cut in to bars.

The peanut buttery sauce that glues the cereal and nuts together is heavenly. It's almost like a peanut butter caramel. It takes some gently stirring to get the mixture to go from this... this...

...but it's well worth the effort. I've found that if I stir slowly with a rubber spatula, the cereal stays relatively whole and the peanuts distribute nicely. Also, if you don't have chex cereal, use crispy rice cereal. It will work just as well.

I've made this recipe both as bars and as individual cookie-type snacks; both work great. (For my treat baskets I was going to do the cookie-type.) Individual treats can be made by spooning the mixture on to wax paper to cool.

Please pardon, once again, the blueish tint of my fluorescent kitchen lighting.)

Back to my confession. I still maintain my treat basket idea was a brilliant one. The planning was a blast. Even the baking of several different goodies went off without a hitch. The problem I must confess is that the treats never made it out of my kitchen. (If you are my neighbor, I sincerely apologize.) Distractions kept me from ever putting together my baskets. Pathetic! I must sadly report that several (and by that I mean WAY more than should have) treats ended up in my own tummy. I eventually farmed the weekend's bounty out to Mr. C's co-workers. However, the good news is that conference comes twice a year, so I can start planning now to surprise my neighbors in October.

Note to self: follow through with your plan next time.

In the meantime, I think I'll go make a batch of these:

I bet my neighbors would be just as happy with a plate of them today as they would have been 2 months ago.

P.S. Welcome to any new friends visiting after hearing about this blog at my cooking class today! I'm so happy that you're here!

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