Posts Tagged ‘no-bake’

Like speed limits, recipes are merely suggestions for when normal conditions exist. But who defines normal conditions? Maybe you never have a box of Chex cereal (or three) in your cupboard when you have the hankering to make traditional Chex™ Muddy Buddies™ so you have to think outside the box. Why not make puppy chow, also known as people chow, with the traditional peanut butter, chocolate chips, and powdered sugar but use your favorite cereals?

people chow puppy chow

In my most recent batch, I folded in Golden Grahams, Corn Pops, and Corn Chex cereals for an even tastier version of puppy chow. I planned to toss in chow mein noodles but I forgot to add them. Did you know that if you store puppy chow in an airtight container in the refrigerator it stays crunchy longer?

hodgepodge people puppy chow

You might also like Corn Pops Clusters

Corn Pops Clusters

If you have a box of Golden Grahams cereal, reserve four cups to make what will become a fight-over-the-last-piece family favorite: Marshmallow Creme Crunchy Graham Brownies.

marshmallow creme crunchy graham brownies square

Of course there’s always a special version of Chex Mix Like You Mean It.

Staci's version of Chex mix

Hodgepodge Puppy Chow with Corn Pops, Golden Grahams, Chex, and Chow Mein Noodles

9 cups of a combination of your favorite cereals and maybe chow mein noodles

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

1½ cups powdered sugar

  1. Put all the cereal in a large bowl.
  2. In a saucepan over medium-low heat melt chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter together. Stir until melted and creamy. Remove from heat.
  3. Stir in vanilla.
  4. Pour chocolate mixture over cereal and toss until all the cereal is drenched in chocolate.
  5. Using a 2 or 2.5 gallon plastic zipper bag, dump in 1/2 cup powdered sugar, chocolate coated cereal, and top with remaining 1 cup powdered sugar. Seal bag and shake it like a Boggle game until everything is coated with powdered sugar (everything in the bag, not your kitchen).
  6. Spread the cereal mixture onto a sheet of wax paper until cooled.
  7. Store in airtight container in the refrigerator.

May your recipes feel like suggestions,



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There’s a border battle between two Minnesota housewives and for that reason, I am sworn to secrecy and cannot share my sister’s super-secret-better-than-everyone-else’s Special K bar recipe.

For years, Heidi has been knocking the socks off family and friends with her secret Special K bars. But there’s this one housewife [Lincoln County Housewife] who is unkind (like cyber-bullying unkind) to my sister but that lady’s husband and sons (who are nice and friends of the family) love Heidi’s bars. So she bakes them for the guys but won’t share the recipe with anyone but her sisters. Ah, sweet revenge.

Special K bars

When I told Heidi I was writing this post and assured her that I would not share her secret recipe, she told me a few interesting facts about what happens when she makes a pan (or two) of her famous Special K Bars. [I didn’t use the guys’ names.]

Heidi: When I make these for them, there are rules. They are rationed between each other.

Me: LOL, what? Between Lincoln County Husband and Sons?

Heidi: I don’t really know, but it is wild hog code of rules about who gets bars, when they get bars, what size bars each get. I stay clear!

Me: Oh it’s wild hog rules amongst themselves – they’re not your rules? Is that more than just Lincoln Co. Husband and his boys? Or is it Pipestone Co. Husband and the other guys too? You just toss them a pan and run??

Heidi: Yes. It’s (Male), (Male), (Male), (Male), (Male), (Male), (Male) and (Male).

And the chivalrous “ladies first” rule does not apply.

It gets even better. 

Here’s an excerpt from a message from Lincoln Co. Housewife to my sister:

“Made my husband more bars, huh…I’d like to know what obsession you have about making bars for my men in my family…” blah, blah, blah something about the “fatning” bars… (her spelling not mine) “[Lincoln Co. Husband] told me today that he told you to stop making him bars…you better listen to him…”

Me to Heidi: Did he tell you to stop?

Heidi: Hell no!

Who knew a pan of bars could create such turmoil? We will forever refer to her secret recipe as Special K-iss My Ass Bars.

Special K Bars

(A standard, non revolution provoking recipe)

1 cup light corn syrup

1 cup white sugar

1 cup creamy peanut butter

6 cups Special K cereal (or corn flake cereal)

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

1 cup butterscotch chips

In a large saucepan over medium heat bring corn syrup and sugar to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter until smooth. Fold in cereal. Press into a buttered or parchment paper-lined 8 x 11½ or 9×13 cake pan.

In a small saucepan melt chocolate and butterscotch chips over low heat, stirring constantly. Once smooth, pour over bars and spread evenly. Cool completely before cutting.

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Come back later this week for: 3 piggies in a breakfast pie.

Super secret sweet wishes,


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I made. Kids saw. They went.

tangled caramel corn chips | Random Sweetness Baking

Although I hesitated to try these back in the 90s, tangled caramel corn chips are what unleashed my natural infatuation with sweet & salty snacks, which I have now passed on to my kids.

Tangled Caramel Corn Chips

1 cup light corn syrup

1 cup white sugar

1 cup creamy peanut butter

1 19-ounce party size bag Fritos Scoops corn chips

Spread entire bag of corn chips onto two cookie sheets or bar pans, scrunching the chips together so the caramel doesn’t get drizzled (and wasted) on the pan.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir together corn syrup and sugar. Heat and stir until boiling, and continue stirring for 1 more minute. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter.

Pour the mixture over the chips, making sure each chip gets a shot of caramel. Cool. Eat.


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My daughter loves traditional Snickers apple salad with vanilla pudding, whipped cream, red and green apples, and Snickers candy bars. I was excited to tailor it to other flavors she likes by pouring coconut milk into the pudding and tossing in Butterfinger candy instead of Snickers.

But you’d have thought I added bright red beets.

Me: “Kalani, I made a special salad for you like the Snickers and apple salad you love but it has Butterfingers in it.”

Kalani: “Oh, I don’t really like Butterfingers that much. I like Snickers so that’s why I like that salad.”

Butterfinger apple coconut salad | Random Sweetness Baking

Me: “Um, well, I was excited to make it for you because when we go to the Zesto, you always order a Butterfinger Avalanche with coconut and chocolate ice cream.”

Kalani: “Ya, well that’s because Snickers freeze when they are in ice cream and they are too hard to eat.”

Me: “OK. It’s in the refrigerator if you decide to try some. It has Honeycrisp and green apples.”

The next day…

Kalani: “That salad was actually really good!”

Me: “I’m glad you liked it! Could you taste coconut?”

Kalani: “No.”

Me: “If I make it again I’ll add more coconut milk. I didn’t use too much because I wasn’t sure if the taste would be too strong. I didn’t actually use coconut because I don’t like coconut.”

Kalani: “Oh.”

Butterfinger Apple Coconut Salad

1 cup cold coconut milk (coconut milk is found in the Chinese/Oriental food section – do NOT use cream of coconut)

1/2 cup cold milk

1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix

1 (8 ounce) carton whipped cream

2 Granny Smith apples, chopped into bite-sized pieces

2 Honeycrisp apples, chopped into bite-sized pieces (or your favorite red apple)

bag of fun-size Butterfinger candy bars, chopped (or 5 regular size Butterfinger candy bars chopped)

1/2 cup flaked coconut, optional

In a large bowl, whisk coconut milk and milk with pudding mix. Let it rest for 3 minutes. Fold in whipped cream. Gently fold in chopped apples, candy bars, and coconut.

Cover and refrigerate until serving. Best if eaten within 24 hours. Makes approximately 12 servings.

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When it comes to making candy, there aren’t many simpler methods than no baking, no dipping, no cutting, no ball-rolling, and no candy thermometer testing.

That’s what you get with Boston baked beans tiger butter—none of the work but the result is a swirly layer of chocolate and butterscotch on a milky blend of almond bark and peanut butter infiltrated with the sweet snap of Boston baked beans candy. To add a wisp of saltiness, it’s coated with crushed dry roasted peanuts.

Boston baked bean tiger butter

I tried making peanut brittle once. When it cooled I tossed it into my toolbox to use as a hammer.

This recipe is not discriminatory. It doesn’t matter if you think you can’t bake or if you crinkle your nose at the thought of even owning a candy thermometer, because you don’t need one. If you can slowly melt chocolate in a saucepan, you can make Boston baked beans tiger butter. Just think about how impressed your friends will be.

Boston baked beans tiger butter

24 ounces (1 pound and 8 ounces package) vanilla flavored almond bark (candy coating)

1 cup creamy peanut butter

1 cup crushed Boston baked beans candy (I crush them in my blender because I don’t have a food processor.)

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup butterscotch chips

1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts, crushed (I use the salted peanuts because the salt balances out all the sweetness.)

Before you begin melting ingredients, finely chop the Boston baked beans candy and the dry roasted peanuts. Set them aside. Line a baker’s half sheet pan (approximately 13″x18″) or a jelly roll pan (approximately 10″x15″) with parchment paper or pan lining paper.

Drop the chunks of almond bark into a medium saucepan. Melt slowly over medium-low heat, stirring often so it doesn’t burn. Once it’s melted and smooth, turn the heat down to low and stir in the peanut butter. Mix until creamy. Remove from heat.

Grab a small saucepan and melt the chocolate and butterscotch chips together over medium-low heat. Stir frequently.

While the chocolate is melting, throw the crushed Boston baked beans candy into the melted almond bark peanut butter mixture and stir until combined. Remember to keep stirring the chocolate chips.

When the chocolate chips are melted, remove from heat and turn off the stove.

Spread the almond bark mixture evenly into the prepared pan. It works best to use an offset spatula if you have one. Scatter the chocolate and butterscotch mixture over the base layer. Using the offset spatula or a butter knife and without disturbing the almond bark mixture too much, gently swirl the chocolate into the almond bark using figure 8 motions. You’ve now created your tiger stripes.

Toss the crushed dry roasted peanuts on top, lightly pressing down so they harden into the chocolate.

Chill until hardened. Lift the candy from the pan and break into pieces. Store in an airtight container in a cool place or in the refrigerator.

I lied about the age of Random Sweetness Baking so you can find me on Facebook now! (If you have teenagers, you understand the sarcasm.)

Come give me a Like and tell me if you’ve ever eaten Boston baked beans.

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Special K Blueberry cereal is a new flavor for us and I’ve blasted through a couple boxes of it in the last couple weeks. I even filled a container with the fruity flakes and clusters before I ran out the door the other day. By the time I got to work, I had crumbs trailing down my shirt and in my bra. I made Special K Blueberry treats that night. The sticky marshmallows seem to keep the cereal crumbs out of my shirt.

Special K Blueberry Krispies Bars | Random Sweetness Baking

I still love traditional Special K bars, well, as traditional as they can be since I have a special Special K bars recipe (of which I am sworn to secrecy by my sister who holds the proprietary ingredients). There are just some things best kept between sisters.

Special K Blueberry Krispies

4 tablespoons butter

6 cups mini marshmallows

6 cups Special K Blueberry cereal (or any kind of your favorite cereal)

Melt the butter in a small saucepan or in the microwave. (I’ve found that using a large plastic bowl in the microwave works best.)

Stir in the marshmallows, coating with the melted butter.

Over medium heat or in the microwave, slowly melt the marshmallows. This only takes a minute or two. Spray your spoon or spatula with cooking spray. Stir butter and marshmallows until creamy. Add cereal. Stir until all the cereal is coated with marshmallow mixture.

Spray a 10×8-inch or similar pan with cooking spray or gently grease with butter. Dump the cereal mixture into the pan. To spread evenly, spray the back of a large metal spoon with cooking spray and spread the mixture.

Cool bars completely. Cut and serve. Store in an airtight container.

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No-bake goodies are a hit in the summer when we don’t want our ovens to heat up the house. Like these S’mores bars. But now it’s fall and kitchens everywhere are heating up with warm nutmeg, spicy ginger, and creamy pumpkin sweets.

Except at my house. My oven is broken. So, to prevent myself from going into a serious I-can’t-bake-depression, I’m flipping through my recipe box for recipes that will satisfy my need to preheat to 350°. Gooey, chocolatey S’mores bars do the trick.

The key to making S’mores bars taste like the real campfire deal is to use HERSHEY’S chocolate candy bars.

S’mores Bars

3/4 cup light corn syrup

3 Tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup milk chocolate chips, preferably HERSHEY’S

2 (4.4-ounce each) HERSHEY’S chocolate candy bars, divided

1 teaspoon vanilla

9 cups Golden Grahams cereal (12-ounce box)

3 cups mini marshmallows, plus a handful to sprinkle over the top if desired

Line a 9 x 13-inch pan with parchment paper or non-stick foil, or grease pan lightly with butter.

Microwave the corn syrup, butter, 1 cup milk chocolate chips, and 1 HERSHEY’S candy bar in a large bowl, uncovered, on medium-high for 1-1/2 minutes. Stir until almost smooth. Microwave again, uncovered, until large bubbles form on the surface, about 2-1/2 minutes longer.

Stir in vanilla. Pour the cereal in the bowl and toss until coated with mixture. Fold in the marshmallows. Chop the other HERSHEY’S candy bar and fold into the cereal mixture. Dump into the pan and press evenly with the back of a large metal spoon sprayed with cooking spray. Toss a handful of mini marshmallows on the top and tap down so they stick. If you have a kitchen torch, lightly toast the marshmallows.

Let cool completely. Cut and share.

See more of my no-bake recipes.

What other treats could I make while I wait for my oven to get fixed? The stove top still works.

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