Some call it "puppy chow" but Saucy calls it "muddy buddies" and no matter what your name for it is, it's addictive and delicious. They're also amazingly easy and if your kids are old enough to work at the stove, you can have them make this with minimal supervision... plus, as an added bonus both treats today are gluten free!
9 cups Chex cereal (rice Chex)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups icing sugar, divided
Over medium heat, melt together the peanut butter, chocolate chips and butter. Watch it carefully, stirring constantly. The peanut butter is especially prone to darkening quickly (it's the oil content). When the mixture is smooth and shiny, remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour over the measured cereal and toss thoroughly using two spatulas. Be careful not to crush the cereal!
Transfer the coated mixture into a bowl filled with the two cups of confectioner's sugar (icing sugar). Toss thoroughly and turn out onto a wax or parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
At this point, Saucy moves the cookie sheet into the porch and allows the cool air to set the treats. Once very cool and firm, carefully break into individual bite-sized pieces. This is Saucy's special trick: she tosses the treats back into a clean bowl with about another cup of icing sugar and gives it another toss. The puppy chow treats are now almost snow-white. (The original recipe calls for a total of one and a half cups of sugar, so this is double but trust Saucy on this one). Transfer to an airtight container and store in a cool place before serving.
This is an excellent snack to divide up into cellophane bags to give as gifts. Or, you can hide it from everyone and spend Boxing day in bed eating it by the bowlful while watching the Harry Potter movie marathon... but who would do that? Not Saucy, that's for sure.
Now, it's time to "cowboy up" as they say. And by this, Saucy means to make a batch of another yummy cereal treat, one her Granny used to make every year and is a sure-fire crowd pleaser.
The main ingredient? It's this stuff, if you can get your hands on it:
Local readers, Saucy has recently found this at the Co-op grocery stores and also London Drugs... but it's going fast. Saucy buying almost forty bars didn't help but she's not sure if it's a seasonal thing or not. It used to be easy to find when she was a kid but after the company switched to individually wrapped bite-sized servings, it just wasn't the same, especially for this recipe. Saucy promises, if you make this treat known as "cowboy," you'll be the most popular person at the Christmas party this year.
And again, they are gluten free.
5 bars of Mackintosh toffee, cold (chilled or frozen)
5 cups corn flakes cereal
2 teaspoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons milk or cream
Measure the corn flakes into a large bowl. Prepare a cookie sheet by lining it with parchment or wax paper.
Place butter or margarine in double boiler over medium-high heat. When the butter has melted, reduce the heat and grab each toffee bar - before opening the wrapping, whack it on your counter. Put a little elbow grease into it. Smack it a few times, to break it up into very small bits and pieces. This is why you want the bars cold, by the way. They'll smash to smithereens.
Repeat the smashing and unwrapping, pouring the little bits of toffee into the melted butter. Slowly turn up the heat and add the cream or milk. Using a wooden spoon and wearing oven mitts, stir the mixture constantly. This may take up to a half hour, so have a glass of wine handy to fortify your patience. The mixture needs to melt down and combine to be a glossy, smooth caramel sauce with absolutely no lumps.
When your mixture is ready, pour it over the corn flakes and stir. Be gentle, tossing as you go to avoid breaking the cornflakes into small bits. Turn the bowl as you toss, using a folding action to incorporate the caramel thoroughly into the corn flakes. When combined, spread the mixture evenly over the paper-lined cookie sheet and store in the fridge until set.
Around here, it's a family divided with Veto and Loopy liking the cowboy more and Saucy and Buddy Budderson enjoying the muddy buddies. As you can see, father and daughter dip into the cowboy as they pass through the porch (which at this time of year is also Saucy's walk in freezer).
As soon as it sets up, Saucy transfers both of these cereal treats into large airtight containers and hides them. There has to be some left for Christmas, right? Maybe.
At any rate, make both of these and let Saucy know which one was your favourite. Both are even more amazing when served cold.