Sunday, June 24, 2012

Cubicle kitchen: Big Red Treats

I bring in some sort of tempting treat to work pretty much every week.  This is partly because I'm a generous and loving person, but mostly because I want to make all these goodies without either eating them all and making myself ill or letting them go to waste.  While I can't share any of the calories with you, dear blog readers, I can share the recipes.

This week's treat was inspired by a grocery store find so wacky, I had to have it:
Those of you not in or around Texas might not know of Big Red soda.  How can I describe it?  It's basically a red cream soda.  I think there are some other flavors going on, but if asked what it tastes like, I would have to answer simply: 'Red.'  And Wild Red is H-E-B's store brand version, but they've clearly stepped things up another notch by turning it into a cereal.  I mean, someone at H-E-B is clearly my soulmate, because I thought I was the only person who would even think of something like this.

The other side of the box announces one of the cereal's many wonderful features: turns milk pink!  Fabulous!  It also has a recipe to make cereal treats.  Basically, Rice Krispy Treats, but with this.  And the same idea applies to pretty much any cereal you have.  Lucky Charms is one I want to try, just because it would be a meta-marshmallow moment.  But before I get too distracted by that sugar coma, let's focus on this one.

It's not a precise recipe.  All you need is:

  • a 10.5 oz bag of marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup of butter (I substituted Brummel and Brown)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 6 cups Wild Red cereal
First, before you get started, you want to prepare the pan that the treats will go into.  With things like this, I always just use parchment paper to line the pan, cut to fit into the corners.  That way I know that whatever it is will come out and I can carefully peel the paper away, plus the pan will be totally clean.  For this, I took a 9" by 13" glass dish.  Again, this isn't a precise recipe, use whatever size yields the treat size you like.

the butter (or butter-like product) goes into a large glass bowl.  The bowl needs to be large enough to eventually hold all of the ingredients.  I microwave that to melt the butter, then mix in the marshmallows, and back into the microwave to very carefully melt together.  This can also be done on the stove, but I prefer to just zap it for 15 seconds at a time and stir.

Once the mixture is completely melted and you don't have any individual marshmallows left, add the vanilla, and stir in the cereal.  Make sure all of the cereal gets a coating of marshmallow, then scoop everything into the parchment-lined pan.  Use a rubber spatula or your hands to press the treats evenly into the pan.  Either way, use some non-stick spray so the treats stay in the pan and not on you.  Set the pan in the fridge to chill, then cut into squares.  This is always trickier than it sounds, because there's always a sticky factor.

Here's how mine ended up looking:
Coworkers were definitely intrigued by these.  Some people didn't understand what they were, while others absolutely loved them.  They are very sweet, as you would expect from a soda-inspired cereal held together with marshmallow.  And again, the flavor is, well, red.  They are definitely fun rather than fancy, perfect for people who love Big Red.

If I made them again, I'd probably want to smash up the cereal a little ahead of time, since the spherical shape isn't conducive to getting them to stick together.  I'd also like to try turning them into the crust of a pie or bar.


  1. The whole concept totally blows me away living up here in the northeast.

  2. Haha, I suppose it would! It's a very strange concoction for those who aren't used to it, both the soda and the treats ; )

  3. i'm hungry now! says the texan girl :)

    1. I was thinking how perfect these would be in a care package for a Texan abroad, especially if you used a Texas-shaped cookie cutter.