Crunchy chocolate-almond cereal squares

3
3
3
SmartPoints® value per serving
Total Time
13 min
Prep
8 min
Cook
5 min
Serves
24
Difficulty
Moderate
Classic rice cereal treats get a rich chocolatey update with an irresistible crunch thanks to other tasty stir-ins like popcorn, oat cereal and almonds. Make these ahead and store at room temperature until ready to serve. If you store them stacked, place aluminum foil between each layer to prevent them from sticking to one another. There are two kinds of cocoa: natural unsweetened, which is what is used here, and Dutch-process. Natural cocoa has full, rich chocolate flavor and is the type used most often in baking. Dutch-process cocoa has been treated with an alkali, which mellows its flavor and gives baked goods a very deep color.

Ingredients

Plain air popped popcorn (prepared without oil)

3 cup(s)

Crispy rice cereal

2 cup(s)

Artificially sweetened ready-to-eat cereal

2 cup(s), oat circle variety

Almonds

¾ cup(s), sliced, whole unblanched toasted

Unsalted butter

2 Tbsp

Grated unsweetened chocolate

1 oz, or preferable chopped

Store-bought marshmallow creme

7½ oz

Unsweetened cocoa powder

3 Tbsp

Vanilla extract

2 tsp

Instructions

  1. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with foil, allowing the excess foil to extend over the rim of the pan by 2 inches. Spray with nonstick spray.
  2. Mix together the popcorn, rice cereal, and oat cereal in a very large bowl. Put the almonds in a food processor and process until chopped. Stir 1/3 cup of the nuts into the cereal mixture. Process the remaining almonds until a smooth nut butter forms, about 2 minutes.
  3. Put the butter and chocolate in a large nonstick skillet and set over low heat. Cook, stirring, until melted, about 2 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat; add the marshmallow crème, cocoa, vanilla, and almond butter. Return the skillet to the heat and cook, stirring, until well blended and heated through, about 3 minutes longer.
  4. Scrape the marshmallow mixture over the cereal mixture and stir vigorously until the cereal mixture is coated evenly. Turn the mixture into the prepared pan. Lightly spray your hands with nonstick spray and press firmly on the cereal mixture to make an even layer. Let cool completely. Lift the cereal mixture from the pan using the foil as handles. Using a serrated knife, cut into 24 squares. Yields 1 square per serving.