French Toast Crunch Marshmallow & Chocolate Bars

Before I share this recipe, I should probably tell you that General Mills did send product, recipes, and some fun stuff to facilitate this post, but more importantly, I should probably tell you that #FrenchToastCrunchIsBack and you know you’re as excited as I am!

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This is not my typical recipe, I know that, so I thought I’d just address the elephant in the room before continuing. Although we eat healthy most of the time and I do completely limit my children’s intake of sweets, they like the sweet things too, y’all, so I indulge them when I’m moved to do so. Those indulgences often include homemade cereal bars because I can slip protein and/or fiber in, making me feel a little bit better about the whole thing. But let’s get back to this recipe, mmmmKay? You remember French Toast Crunch from your childhood, right? The little toast-shaped, maple-flavored bites of deliciousness packed into a cereal box? Yes, those. They’re back but lower in sugar (only 9 grams) than their 1995 product release original, but the flavor…oh the flavor…it’s the same one you enjoyed as a child with more whole grain. That taste inspired this recipe for French Toast Crunch Marshmallow and Chocolate (heart shaped because I’m fancy like that) Cereal Bars.

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I made these while the babies were at school and B was at work, and OH-EM-GEE, they can’t seem to get enough of them. As in, I need to make more STAT. The French Toast Crunch Cereal should be in retailers nationwide now. If not, ask your favorite retailer to stock it because you’re going to want to stock up (in case *GASP* it disappears again, although I don’t think it’s going anywhere this time because the people have spoken).

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French Toast Crunch Marshmallow & Chocolate Bars
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1-10.5 oz bag mini marshmallows
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 8 cups French Toast Crunch cereal
  • 1-12 oz bag semisweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Coat bottom and sides of a 13x9 inch baking dish.
  2. In a large microwavable bowl, microwave marshmallows and butter uncovered on high for 1 minute, stir, microwave for another minute until completely melted.
  3. Immediately stir the cereal into the melted marshmallows.
  4. Put mixture in pan and press, I suggest using waxed paper because this stuff is REALLY sticky.
  5. In a small microwaveable bowl, microwave chocolate chips uncovered for 2 minutes, stopping at 1 minute to stir, until thoroughly melted.
  6. Pour chocolate over cereal mixture and spread like frosting.
  7. Refrigerate for approximately 30 minutes until chocolate sets.
  8. Cut into bars or cut with your favorite cookie cutter to make fun shapes to decorate.

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My kids are in love with these cereal bars and they have a new (old) favorite cereal for breakfast. Score another win for me with these No-Bake French Toast Crunch Marshmallow and Chocolate Bars. I may never get the hang of baking (OK, I won’t ever get the hang of it), but I’m pretty much mastering these no-bake desserts.

Your favorite childhood cereal is now available at retailers nationwide. Head on out today and grab a bowl of happiness then head on over to Facebook to thank General Mills for listening and get more recipes like this one. And if you have any great no-bake dessert recipes, please share them with me. My family is getting used to this and I’m running out of ideas!

Start Their Day with Peanut Butter and Cheerios Breakfast Bars

Thank you to General Mills and Usher for sponsoring this post and inspiring us to start our day with happiness and positivity!

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How do you start your day off right? They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but I say starting your morning off right in all ways is super important. We have a hard time here in the mornings. Bug doesn’t want to get up, Bubby doesn’t want to eat anything (hello pickiest eater on the planet), and I just don’t want to fight with either of them. But with the help of Honey Nut Cheerios and the new upbeat song from Usher, “Clueless”, our days are getting off to a positive start lately. Good food plus good music to start our day? Yes, please and thank you!

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This little guy right here is literally the pickiest eater on the planet. Oh, I know, you think your kid is, but you’d be wrong. He’d rather starve, like his momma, than eat something he doesn’t like (which is almost everything). But I can’t send him to school on an empty stomach so I had to get creative. Protein and fiber are important. They keep us balanced and energized throughout the day. And thankfully, I came up with a recipe with just the right sweetness that my baby loves that also delivers the protein and fiber he needs. Crunching on these Peanut Butter and Cheerios Breakfast Bars while listening to upbeat music are the ticket to the start of a productive day.

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Want to make these for your picky eater? This recipe couldn’t be simpler (seriously, if I make anything that resembles baking, it’s bound to be easy). The first thing you’ll need to do is head to your local Walmart to pick up a box of Honey Nut Cheerios. Between now and December 31st, specially marked boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios only at Walmart offer a free download of the exclusive song by Usher, “Clueless”, which will have the kids tapping their toes while they eat their breakfast to start their day off right.

Peanut Butter and Cheerios Breakfast Bars
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
 
Ingredients
  • 3½ cups Honey Nut Cheerios
  • 1½ cups creamy peanut butter (I make my own to reduce sugar and sodium but you can use store bought as well.)
  • ¼ cup no salt butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup light corn syrup
  • 2 cups peanut butter chips
Instructions
  1. Place Cheerios in a large bowl.
  2. Line an 8×8 glass baking dish with waxed paper.
  3. In a medium pan, combine peanut butter, corn syrup, and butter and heat over low heat until melted, stirring regularly.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract then pour over the Cheerios and mix well.
  5. Place the Cheerios mixture in the prepared pan and press to flatten.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Sprinkle peanut butter chips over the bars and bake in the oven for 3-5 minute until the chips look “melty”.
  8. Remove from oven and spread melted chips evenly with a spoon like a frosting.
  9. Chill covered on the countertop for 4 hours.
  10. Remove from pan and cut into bars.
  11. Store uneaten bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator to be enjoyed throughout the week.

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Bubby is in love with these bars, Bug’s digging starting her day out with music, and I’m happy that I’ve found something that will jump start their day and give them the energy they need to be happy and productive at school in the mornings. It’s a win for everyone. If you’ve got a picky eater at home or just a little music lover like I do, be sure to head out to Walmart today to grab your Honey Nut Cheerios with the free download of Usher’s new song. It’s the first step to starting your day out on a positive note. How do jump start your mornings?

Loaded Jambalaya: A Lower Sodium Alternative

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Apparently, I make a pretty mean Jambalaya. Sure, maybe it’s not “pin-worthy” because I searched recipes on Pinterest and I saw some amazing photos. But I wonder…are they just pretty, or do they taste great? My food doesn’t always look pretty, but for goodness sakes, I have people knocking at my door asking if I made that Jambalaya again. That’s all that matters to me. Their plate may look better, but looks don’t matter when it comes to the pallet. This Jambalaya right here? It’s a crowd pleaser, pretty or not. I win the football party food war, and in fact, I should win the internet for this recipe!

I took a combination of recipes I found online, tweaked to lower the sodium and make it in my Crock Pot so it would be a no-fuss recipe. It’s actually easy to make and using a slow cooker reduces how much prep work you’ll need to do.

Crock Pot Loaded Jambalaya Ingredients:

  • 1 lb cooked chicken (You can boil it or buy it precooked.)
  • 1 lb cooked turkey sausage
  • 1 lb cooked salad shrimp (I use frozen.)
  • 2 cups white rice
  • 14 oz low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1 bay leaf (fresh or dried)
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp low sodium Worcestershire sauce

Preparation and Cooking Instructions:

  1. Pour the chicken broth in the Crock Pot.
  2. Stir in all of the spices, the bay leaf, and the Worcestershire sauce.
  3. Chop all of your vegetables and put them in the pot.
  4. Cut your chicken and sausage in to bite-sized pieces and put them in with the broth and vegetables.
  5. Add the shrimp.
  6. Stir in the rice.
  7. Simmer on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.

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This one-pot wonder is perfect for fall and is a huge crowd pleaser. It’s packed with protein and veggies, and since you have rice in the dish, there’s no reason to serve anything on the side. The prep time is a little longer than other Crock Pot recipes, but every extra second is worth it in the end. Pin-worthy or not, this is one recipe you’re going to want to try!