So much food at Walt Disney World. So much inspiration surrounding me.
I didn’t have the time to eat my way through the parks as much as I had hoped–in fact, I barely touched on what Epcot had to offer and would really like to go back and spend a solid day or two there by myself–but I had a taste, and it left me wanting more. I am officially addicted.
Back in the real world, though, I’m finally admitting that I have to move on. I can’t dwell forever.
I loved the rice crispy treats that filled the gift shops throughout Walt Disney World, wanting to bring them all home with me. But that’s just not feasible. So, upon my return, the first idea I had was to create a crispy treat reminiscent of the parks. Something that would invoke the spirit of it all, while being my own thing, too. Something like these Peeps Cereal Squares.
The stores are full of Easter candy right now, as they should be, with Easter less than a month away. Nestled among the Cadbury creme eggs, Reese’s peanut butter eggs, jelly beans, and hollow chocolate bunnies are another seasonal stand-by: Peeps. I discovered the most magical display of them at my local Target, in all the colors of the rainbow, and laid out in rainbow order, too. The OCD part of me was overjoyed. I grabbed a few boxes of the blue bunnies and my mind went wild. YES! Peeps are just marshmallows coated in sugar, right? So why not make my rice crispy treats with Peeps? A genius idea was born!
The rice crispy treat souvenir I selected was speckled with bits of fruity crisped rice cereal, very much like Fruity Pebbles. My special treat would not be complete without them! I added those to my cart, as well as some Candiquik coating, and couldn’t wait to get to work!
Thus, a star is born. This is a very sweet treat–no question about it. But the vibrant, cheery colors make it impossible to dislike them. After a dark, dreary, cold winter, it’s time to let your colors shine! Peeps Cereal Squares–finally a use for all those Peeps in your basket! And know that you’re continuing on, ever-so-slightly, in a round-about way, my dream to return to Disney. It will happen. Hopefully, sooner rather than later.
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 9 ounces (2 packages) Peeps marshmallow bunnies
- 3½ cups Rice Krispies (or similar crisped rice cereal)
- 1 cup Fruity Pebbles
- 1 16-ounce package Vanilla Candiquik coating
- 3 Tablespoons +/- assorted sprinkles
- Grease an 8"x8" baking dish and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
- While the butter is melting, separate the Peeps, reserving 1 row of bunnies. Chop the reserved bunnies and set aside.
- Add the rest of the bunnies to the melted butter and continue to heat, stirring frequently.
- Once the Peeps are nearly melted, remove from heat and stir in the reserved Peeps.
- Add the Rice Krispies and Fruity Pebbles and stir until evenly coated.
- Press cereal mixture into prepared baking dish, using hands greased with cooking spray or another piece of parchment paper to press down on the top.
- Set aside until cooled (about 20 minutes).
- Remove the parchment paper from the baking dish and cut into 9 bars.
- Remove the Candiquik coating from the package and microwave in the tray provided for 1 minute; stir and microwave for an additional 15 seconds, if necessary.
- Lay out fresh parchment paper.
- Dip one edge of the cereal bars into the Candiquik and spoon a little extra over the bar, if necessary, to coat evenly; let drip over the pan until most of the excess has dripped off.
- Set on parchment paper and scatter sprinkles over the Candiquik coating (you can also dump the sprinkles into a small dish and dip in it, but that gets to be a bit messier).
- Once all the cereal squares have been coated, transfer to the refrigerator to firm up.
- Wrap any leftovers tightly and consume within 3 days, for best texture and taste.