Monday, December 24, 2018

Edible Coal Improvements

I had some Cocoa Puffs on hand. Why? Probably a sell plus a coupon at some point for my local grocery store and the thought that I'd make something with them. Then I forgot about the cereal until we were checking on our supplies for our annual holiday party that my hubby and I have been hosting for 26 years now. We do all the cooking which includes baking and candy making. But this year I also needed to do a cookbook review and none of those recipes used Cocoa Puffs. Then, because the planning for our annual party went well enough so we had fewer leftovers than normal, it was a good time to try to find a recipe for this cereal. One rule -- it had to only use ingredients that I had on hand. I checked out the website for Betty Crocker and found two recipes that used ingredients I had on hand plus the Cocoa Puffs. Of these two recipes, I picked "Chocolate Coal Lumps" because they seemed the easiest and the most luckily that my family would enjoy. While it was easy and us and our RPG friends loved them, they pieces were HUGE. So here's my advice on using the recipe and making it better.

The amount of Cocoa Puffs does not quite equal a full box of the cereal which seems ridiculous to me. So I did some math and adjusted the amount of margarine/butter and marshmallows for that extra 1 ounce of cereal.

The pieces even cut into the number they said make huge lumps and I don't think the extra ounce of cereal was the problem. In the future I'd drop the marshmallow and cereal mixture by spoonfuls perhaps into silicone or metal mini-muffin cups to shape them.


Wax paper does not pull off easily when you use it to press down the pan of treats but spraying your hand with non-stick works great. Skip the pan press which I wouldn't need if I did my idea with muffin or spoonfuls anyway but you still want these tight.


Cut the pieces before you remove the non-stick sprayed aluminum foil -- it cut more easily and it was fairly simply to get all of the foil off.


Refrigerate the pieces again! Think about it. You are handling it to cut it and them removing the foil, all of that heats up the cereal lumps and then you put it into warm chocolate... the lumps will start to fall apart so refrigerate again.

Instead of forks use a metal or silicone tongs that will hold firmly but allow you to turn over the lumps which you dip.

I'd use a darker chocolate in the future to make it more coal colored. I'd also go with black sugar not jimmies. Not only did it take me a good 40 minutes to separate my tombstones from the jimmies (I used what I had on hand remember) but I don't think they looked as good against the lighter semi-sweet chocolate.


Do not keep refrigerated before  you eat. Set them out for 10+ minutes or your guests might have a problem taking a bite. Luckily the cereal is so big that the marshmallows never made it into as solid a treat as you'd get with crispy rice for example. You can store these for days in an airtight container.


If you are still looking for an easy treat, I hope the link to the recipe and my advice for making these helped you out.

Happy Christmas Eve!

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