With the Summer a distant memory, you may find yourself in a predicament familiar to me: what to do with those extra boxes of breakfast cereal you bought on sale just a few months ago? There are several options: serve them up in the near future, freeze them, or make something tasty out of them. In the Fall, I find the third option to be the most fun and satisfying, so I thought I would share a few recipes that have proven to be sure fire winners with family and friends. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

“Use-It-Or-Lose-It Muffins”

Basic Recipe:
Ingredients: one 15 – 25 ounce box Raisin Bran or other “flake” cereal, 3 cups sugar, 5 cups flour, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 cup oil, 4 eggs (beaten), and 1 quart milk.

Mix dry ingredients together. Add oil, eggs and milk, and mix. (This mixture can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 6 weeks prior to cooking.) To bake, fill greased muffin tins three-quarters full. Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 18 minutes or until done (use standard knife test for doneness). Makes 5 to 6 dozen small muffins or 3 to 4 dozen large muffins.

Sugar: sugar is optional, replace with equivalent amount of sugar substitute or leave out.
Flour: use any flour or replace up to 3 cups of flour with oatmeal, oatmeal packets, oatbran, or bran. Substitute 2 cups of the alternative ingredient for each cup of flour replaced.
Oil: replace with apple sauce, flaxseed, melted margarine, fruit puree.
Eggs: replace with egg whites (3 egg whites equal 1 egg)
Milk: Juice, pureed fruit, melted ice cream, nutritional drinks (Boost, Ensure, EAS, etc)

“Chewy Fruit Cereal Bars”

Ingredients: 3 cups flake and fruit cereal (like raisin bran), one-third cup flour, one cup brown sugar, one-quarter teaspoon salt, one-eighth teaspoon nutmeg, 2 eggs, and one-quarter cup softened butter or margarine.

Beat eggs until thick and light in color. Gradually beat in one cup of brown sugar, then beat in the quarter cup of butter/margarine. Add flour, salt and nutmeg, blending well. Stir in cereal and spread the mixture evenly in a greased 9 inch square pan. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 to 30 minutes or until edges pull away from pan. Cool and cut into bars. Makes 2 dozen bars.

“Cereal Jam Bars”

Ingredients: 2 cups flaked whole grain cereal, one and one-quarter cups flour, one and one-quarter cups light brown sugar, 1 egg, three-quarter cup of softened butter or margarine, one 8 ounce package of cream cheese (softened), and three-quarter cup of jam.

Mix flour and 1 cup of brown sugar together in a large bowl. Add butter and mix until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. Stir in cereal. Press 3 cups of the cereal mixture firmly onto the bottom of a greased 13 by 9 baking pan to form a crust.

Mix cream cheese, one-quarter cup of brown sugar and 1 egg until blended. Spread mixture evenly over the cereal crust in the 13 by 9 pan. Top with jam and remaining cereal mixture. (Tip: microwave jam slightly to soften before “pouring” over the crust.)

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 to 30 minutes until lightly browned. Cool completely and cut into bars.

“Crisp Chocolate Truffles” from “Treasury of Christmas Recipes” cookbook

Ingredients: 2 cups Rice Krispies, one 6 ounce package semi-sweet chocolate morsels, one 7 ounce jar marshmallow crème, 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, 2 tablespoons shortening, one 14 ounce package of white candy coating, and multicolored sprinkles (optional)

In heavy 2 quart saucepan, combine marshmellow crème, butter/margarine, and chocolate morsels. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth; remove from heat. Stir Rice Krispies into hot chocolate mixture, mixing until thoroughly combined. Drop mixture by rounded teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

In top of double boiler, over hot water, melt white candy coating and shortening together. Dip each chocolate ball in coating and place on waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Decorate with sprinkles, if desired. Refrigerate until firm. Place in small candy paper cups to serve. Makes approximately 4.5 dozen.

“Holiday Wreaths” from “Treasury of Christmas Recipes” cookbook

Ingredients: 6 cups corn flakes cereal, one 10 ounce package regular marshmellows, one-half cup butter or margarine, 1 teaspoon green food coloring, red cinnamon candies.

Melt butter/margarine in large saucepan over low heat. Add marshmellows and cook, stirring constantly, until marshmellows melt and mixture is syrupy. Remove from heat and stir in food coloring. Add corn flakes cereal and stir until it is well coated with syrupy mixture. Portion the warm cereal mixture using a one-quarter cup dry measure. Use buttered fingers to quickly shape the portioned mixture into wreaths. Dot each wreath with red cinnamon candies.

Variation: Press the entire warm cereal mix into a buttered 5.5 cup ring mold or shape into a large ring on a serving plate. Remove from mold and dot with red cinnamon candies. Slice to serve.

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