Bunny Chow! (Healthified Puppy Chow)

[DISCLAIMER: The first recipe in this blog post is NOT HEALTHY in any way, shape, or form. But it’s so freaking fun, I had to share it.]

I babysit for a family with 4 boys (ages 2, 6, 8, and 9) every day from 9-5, but tomorrow is my last day before I ship myself off to New Zealand on Sunday(!!!!!). To make my last day something special, I have devised an elaborate scavenger hunt with a hidden treasure that will make up for those healthy after-school snacks that I force them to eat every day.

I happen to have a weakness for S’mores.  I also happen to have a weakness for Rice Krispie Treats.  In the past, I only imagined this recipe in my wildest dreams, but I decided that, for my last day with the boys, I would make it a reality.

S’Murrays: S’Mores-Inspired Marshmallow Crispy Treats

Start by measuring out 4 cups of mini marshmallows (generic brand ones at the store were only 99-cents!)

Then, measure 6 cups of Golden Graham cereal (this will replace the Rice Crispies and act as the graham crackers)

Before you do anything more, lightly grease the pan you will put these in.  I used a 9 by 13 inch brownie pan.  Then, get 3 tablespoons of butter melting in a pot over medium/medium-high heat on the stove.

Go ahead and add in the marshmallows.

Stir around constantly as they melt completely….

Then you can go ahead and add in the Golden Grahams.  This is by far the most stressful portion of the recipe because you have to use your guns to stir it up and get it combined properly.

But it’ll be well worth the work.  Pour it into the pan.

I wanted them to be pretty thick, so I only put them in one half of the pan.   It was no big deal.  Use a spatula to shape it in there nice and neat.   Then, I put some chocolate icing in the microwave and heated it up until it was all melty and liquidy, and I drizzled it over the top.

The drizzling turned into more of a smothering, but I don’t think the kids will care…

I am so excited for them to enjoy them tomorrow!  I hope they know they have the best babysitter on this planet. And I hope they know I will miss them somethin’ AWFUL.

As for my thoughts on these treats, they were a bit too sweet for me.  I blame that on the sugar-coated Golden Grahams.  Maybe I can find healthier graham cereal that is not coated in corn syrup.  Or, I could just straightup crush some graham crackers into small pieces!  Also, the icing isn’t quite chocolately enough for me, so I might try mixing in some pure chocolate chips.  We’ll see how it goes.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m still really excited about this recipe since it is just as quick (less than 10 minutes!) and easy as the original rice crispies, but it totally takes them to the next level.  So much more special.  The ingredients were also totally inexpensive!  Marshmallows = $0.99, Cereal = $3.47, Icing = $1.27

So after making these, I was pretty jealous and wanted something indulgent, yet healthy-ish for myself.  Plus, my friend Tara asked me to concoct some kind of healthified version of Puppy Chow.  I was excited for the challenge!

After some brainstorming, I think I figured it out…

Bunny Chow: A Healthified Version of Puppy Chow

I started with choosing an alternative to the traditional Chex cereal:

Kashi Go Lean original cereal has tons of fiber and protein, plus it is pretty low in fat.  Also, as a loving friend of mine kindly put…

…it sort of looks like rabbit food.  I say, YUM!  Hence the name, Bunny Chow.  Adorable!!! You’ll need about 9 cups.  This was basically the entire box.  Then, as an alternative to regular chocolate chips:

dark chocolate chips!  We all know that doctors declared dark chocolate a health food anyway, right?  I always choose Ghirardelli because, well, it’s the best–but also my dog Ghia’s full name is Ghirardelli!  The darkest they had was 60%, but at larger grocery stores with more of a selection, you might be able to find a higher cacao content.  We will use much less than the traditional recipe calls for.

A heaping quarter cup will do.  Next, the peanut butter!  We will use more than the original recipe since peanut butter is very nutritious 🙂

I used I combo of all natural Smucker’s smooth peanut butter and Trader Joe’s almond butter.  A combined heaping 3/4 cup.   (I would recommend putting it in a microwave safe bowl, warming it up, and mixing it all together first because it kind of gave me some clumpage problems later on.)  Next, I got my heaping up of powdered sugar ready, still MUCH less than the original recipe calls for.

Mess = optional (but remember, a messy cook is a good cook!)

Begin to melt 2 tablespoons of margarine in a large pot over medium/medium-high heat.

Then go for it.

Add in the chocolate and peanut butter.  Stir constantly until it is completely smooth and combined.  See the clumpy problems I had to deal with?

Oh well, still delicious.  Then I poured in the rabbit foo–I mean!–the cereal.  Mix it around like crazy.  It doesn’t look like it will ever happen, but keep at it and all the cereal will get a nice coating.  I was able to do it by scooping down into the corner of the pot and turning the mixture over to bring the melted mixture to the top.  I did this around and around and around the pot until I was satisfied.

I did it!  You could always stop here, it tastes divine!  But, for the full effect, pour the powdered sugar into a gallon baggie, followed by the coated cereal.

Then shake it like a Polaroid picture.

Shake it.  Shake shake it.  Shake it.  Shake shake it.  Shake it.

And then, snack away!  It is quite tasty!!

This recipe can also be done dorm-room style by heating up the chocolate and nut butters in the microwave!  So easy a bunny could do it!

Namaste.

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