Happy Halloween, everyone! I hope you’re feasting yourself on delicious Halloween candy. When I was little, I loved going trick or treating, but as I grew up in Chicago, the weather was inevitably bad. My most favorite costume, though, was one that was built for the weather. We never bought costumes, they were always DIY creations from my mom’s incredible craftiness. My favorite costume that she ever created was when I went as a tree. She made me a brown skirt, that looked like a tree trunk, and was conveniently large enough that I could wear warm tights underneath. My dad and I went for a long walk and found absolutely gorgeous fall leaves which my mom sewed onto a cozy sweatshirt. She even made me a hat that had a bird’s nest, tiny bird, and robins egg in it! It was pretty incredible. I remember being warm, happy, and super proud of my costume. When I went trick or treating, I always tended to love the chewy fruity candy like Dots, Twizzlers, and Starburst. I only really enjoyed chocolate if it was in the form of a Snickers, Baby Ruth, or Reese’s, likely as those candies are less about the chocolate and more about the delicious peanut filling. This lack of true love for chocolate meant that I never experienced the joy of Count Chocula cereal until Srini introduced me to it a few years ago. It’s so delicious! Crunchy, artificial chocolate-y, with those weird cereal marshmallows. I thought it would be super delicious to make Rice Krispie Treats out of them, and well, I was right!
Rice Krispie treats are delicious with so many different types of cereal. Srini and I briefly got into a phase where we made them with all sorts of different cereals. Our favorites have been Lucky Charms and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. We tried Fruity Pebbles, but it was a bit much. These Count Chocula ones are amazing, and definitely the best of the Rice Krispie Treat variations. But of course, I couldn’t leave well enough alone, and decided that I had to do something to make them even better than they already were.
Enter delicious, nutty browned butter. Browning butter before using it in desserts lends a beautiful, toffee, nutty subtle flavor to any dish. I find that it is especially helpful in more “one note” sweet desserts, that aren’t too complex…like ones made out of marshmallow and sugary cereal. I also added in a couple generous pinches of salt, vanilla, and, to amplify the chocolate flavor, some chopped up Hershey’s chocolate bars from our stash of Halloween candy. Sorry trick or treaters, 5 fewer bars for you! I topped it off with some grated and shaved chocolate just for fun. The end result is super tasty. I encourage you to try it to celebrate Halloween, or to use up some leftover Halloween treats!
Count Chocula Marshmallow Treats
|Prep:||Cook:||Yield: About 24 roughly 1.5 inch squares||Total:|
Happy Halloween! Celebrate with these totally delicious and chocolatey Count Chocula Marshmallow Treats, made extra tasty with browned butter, vanilla, and Hershey's bars!
- 1/2 stick (4 Tbsp) butter
- 2 pinches salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 10 oz large Marshmallows (1 standard bag)
- 6 cups Count Chocula Cereal
- 4 snack size milk chocolate Hersheys bars, chopped, plus one extra to use as garnish if you'd like
- Combine the cereal and the chopped Hershey's bars in a large bowl, set aside. Butter a 9x13 glass dish thoroughly and set aside.
- Place a large saucepan over medium heat. Melt the butter in it, swirling intermittently. Add in the salt. The butter will start to foam after a minute or two. Once the foaming subside, keep a close eye on the butter, swirling intermittently, until the milk solids separate. They will eventually turn golden brown and the butter will start to smell nutty. At this point, turn off the heat and move to a cool burner, swirling. Allow it to sit for a minute to cool slightly.
- Put the marshmallows and the vanilla into the saucepan with the browned butter. Stir with a spatula, until the marshmallows are smooth. You may need to return the pot to low heat to ensure that the marshmallows fully melt and are smooth.
- Add in the chocolate and cereal and rapidly stir to coat the cereal with the melted marshmallow as evenly as possible. Transfer the mixture to the buttered dish and push down to get an even layer and ensure that the mixture goes all the way to the edges. Allow to cool. If you would like, you can grate one final Hershey's bar with a microplane to garnish, or use a peeler to make little chocolate curls to garnish. I did both!
It'll be easiest and the least messy if you use a heatproof silicone spatula to stir and to eventually transfer and layer the marshmallow treats.
This recipe would work great with any other chocolate cereal.
Eliminate the Hershey's bars and use with our other favorites: Cinnamon Toast Crunch or Lucky Charms! Or, of course, the classic with Rice Krispies!