Sometimes you just need something to keep your toddlers active. It doesn’t matter if that’s a sticker book and some construction paper, a tub full of legos or a box of your favorite cereal. Case in point, I had two relatively obnoxious children on my hands tonight right before my husband needed to get some sleep before working a graveyard shift. My old tricks of popping FROZEN on the tv or having a marathon of PUFFIN ROCK weren’t working. So instead, I opted for some kitchen therapy and my girls and I decided to try our hands at making pumpkin shaped rice krispies treats. Now, I will admit, my family is not a fan of actually eating these little slices of Americana. However, we do like making seasonal creations with this ingredient and tonight paid homage to Halloween.
1 Box Rice Krispies or any rice cereal. (Approximately 6 cups)
3 Tablespoons of butter of margarine
1 Package/10 ounces of Jet Puffed Marshmallows
8 Tootsie Rolls (Unwrapped)
Food Coloring (Yellow & Red)
Parchment Paper Lined Baking Sheet
Spray Can of Pam
Pumpkin Shaped Rice Krispies
In a large sauce pan or pot, melt 3 tablespoons of butter or margarine over low heat.
Next, add in the entire bag of marshmallows and start mixing. You are looking for a gooey, flat consistency.
Then, add half (about 3 cups) of your rice krispies.
Once you have this first half mixed in; you need to add in your food coloring. (Pumpkins are supposed to be orange after all.) To get orange, you will need 50 drops of yellow coloring and 8 drops of red.
Once added, give it a good stir and add your remaining 3 cups of rice cereal.
This is where the elbow grease comes in. You need to stir that gooey stuff like crazy to spread the coloring. I actually asked my 3-year-old, Nuala, for help with determining the color. She let me know when the orange had spread out completely over all the cereal.
One you have your desired color, remove your pot from the stove and it’s time to make some pumpkins. The mixture will be very hot, so this part of the activity is really not for little hands.
Make sure you can handle the cereal comfortably before you start rolling. I spray both my hands with PAM cooking spray to prevent sticking, then I make a ball with the cereal, much like preparing meatballs. You should get anywhere from 8 to 10 balls with this mixture.
Once all my balls were done – I gave my daughters unwrapped tootsie rolls. They pushed one into the top of every rice krispie treat, creating a stem for their pumpkins. Then I gave the girls a small cup with some sprinkles. They added sprinkles to the top of each pumpkin for added decoration.
I refrigerated my treats after completion since ours will be used for decorative purposes only. You certainly can eat them if you so choose.
The entire activity from start to finish took about 45 minutes. Long enough for “Mostly Wonderful” to fall asleep and for me to tire out two rambunctious toddlers. WHEW! I owe you one Snap, Crackle & Pop!