double chocolate cherry cereal bars

Double Chocolate Cherry Cereal Bars

October 10, 2019 by Michelle

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I had a dream about these double chocolate cherry cereal bars, and I’m so glad I did. Some links in this post are affiliate links that earn me a commission if you purchase through them.

Chocolate cherry cereal bar

We love rice krispie treats here, but why not take them up a notch. These? Are special.

And ok, they aren’t technically rice krispie treats either. My kids beg for cereal, and I buy it. They’ll eat about half a box, then be “done” with it, and it sits in the pantry.

Needless to say, I make rice krispie treats sometimes just to get rid of the cereal they no longer want to eat. Thankfully, just about any cereal will work in a pinch.

Looking for more great no bake dessert ideas? Check out my favorites at the end of this article.

This time, I used a combination of Rice Chex and Honey Bunches of Oats. Use Rice Krispies or Corn Flakes or Cheerios. As long as it isn’t an overly flavorful cereal, it works.

It’s the perfect way to use up the last of cereal just sitting there. And the chocolate and cherry elevate these rice krispie treats (non-rice krispie treats?) to something even better.

chocolate cherry crispy treats

Tips to Make Double Chocolate Cherry Rice Krispie Treats

Add extra butter

The recipe you find on the back of marshmallow bags or the cereal box? It doesn’t have enough butter. 

Adding a couple more tablespoons gives it a much richer taste, and I do this every time I make rice krispie treats. The cocoa powder needs the richness of a little extra butter to fill it out, too.

And add salt

Salt helps meld flavors together, and it strengthens their flavor profile, too. It doesn’t take much salt, but it really makes a difference.

The butter becomes butterier, and the marshmallows taste richer. The chocolate has a deeper taste, and the cherries… just yum!

Use mini marshmallows

I follow the same philosophy with marshmallows as I do with butter. Smaller pieces melt faster and more evenly.

The smaller marshmallows taste the same in these double chocolate cherry cereal bars as the big ones. It just takes way less time to make them, and that’s a win in my book!

Treat your cherries right

I used maraschino cherries because I love them, and so do my kids. You could also make this with dried cherries, as well. Don’t use fresh or frozen cherries though.

Whether you use dried or maraschino cherries, make sure to chop them. You want flavor spread throughout the double chocolate cherry cereal bars, and whole maraschino cherries are too big.

Before you chop them, drain them on a paper towel and pat them gently. You don’t want too much maraschino cherry juice in the mixture, as it will throw it off.

Make these in an 8×8 pan

I tried making these in a 9×13 pan once, thinking I’d get more out of the recipe. Nope, they were too short, and it just wasn’t the same.

A single recipe goes in an 8×8 pan. But… if you double it, go ahead and use your 9×13 pan.

8×8 inches is 64 square inches. 9×13 inches is 117 square inches, just under double the area, so it works. And yes, I am the geek who did the math for you. You’re welcome.

Use good quality chocolate

As with all melted chocolate, use a high quality chocolate. It melts readily without the extra ingredients, and it tastes better.

When you chop the chocolate, simply line your knife up near the edge of the chocolate and cut down. It makes multiple flakes each time you do that. You don’t have to be perfect when you chop, just make smaller pieces so they melt without scorching.

If you use chocolate chips, you may need to add a smidge of vegetable oil or butter to get it to melt properly. It may not set up again as well though.

Know if you’re making these gluten free – or not

One of the best parts of rice krispie treats is that they can be gluten free, depending on what cereal you use. The butter, marshmallows, cocoa, and salt are gluten free, and there are so many gluten free cereals out there.

While you might think that Rice Krispies are gluten free, they are not due to the barley malt in them. Thankfully, there are plenty of alternatives if you want to make these gluten free.

Use Cheerios, Rice Chex (like I did), Corn Chex, or your favorite gluten free labeled cereal. Note that Corn Flakes are not gluten free either.

Regardless, this recipe can easily be made gluten free if you choose your cereal properly!

Double chocolate cherry bar

How to Make Double Chocolate Cherry Cereal Bars

Butter your 8×8 pan, both the bottom and the sides. I use a remnant of butter inside the paper to smooth it on without making a mess.

Add butter to a large pot. I use a cast iron pot because it holds heat so the cereal mixes in later without the marshmallow cooling too quickly. Plus, it doesn’t scorch.

I tend to cut my butter into pats so that it melts more evenly without burning. It’s easy to burn butter, even on relatively low heat, so the pieces help.

While the butter melts over low heat, drain and chop the cherries. You just need a rough chop, so don’t make them into tiny pieces.

Chop maraschino cherries

Add the marshmallows to the melted butter, along with the salt and cocoa powder. Stir periodically until melted.

When you see just a few white streaks remaining, add the chopped cherries. Stir again to distribute.

Add your cereal, and stir with a spatula very carefully. You want to stir until all the pieces are coated with the marshmallow mixture, but you want to avoid crushing the cereal as much as possible.

Pour the mixture into your 8×8 pan, and use the spatula to spread it into all corners and gently press it down. If you push too hard, the treats end up hard and not as good.

Gently press down cereal mixture

Now comes the double chocolate part. Chop your chocolate and place into a small, heavy pot.

Stir over low heat until it melts. Drizzle it over your crispy treats, and let it set up for 15 to 20 minutes. In cooler temps, it will be ready faster – no surprise there.

Drizzle chocolate

Cut into 16 pieces. I cut the pan in half, then each half into half because I can picture halves easier than I can slice four even pieces. Rotate the pan and repeat going the other direction.

Best rice crispy treats pan

Store any leftovers in a tightly sealed container for up to a week. Separate layers with wax paper to keep them from sticking.

Have you ever tried double chocolate cherry cereal bars?

More no bake dessert ideas:

Double Chocolate Cherry Cereal Bars

Double Chocolate Cherry Cereal Bars

Yield: 16 bars
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

This unique Rice Krispie recipe takes it up a notch. You'll love the flavor combination of this no bake dessert.

Ingredients

  • 5 T butter
  • 10 oz package mini marshmallows
  • 2 T cocoa powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 15 maraschino cherries
  • 6 cups Rice Krispies
  • 1 oz dark chocolate, chopped

Instructions

  1. Butter bottom and sides of 8x8 pan.
  2. Add butter to large pot and melt on low heat.
  3. While the butter melts, drain and rough chop cherries.
  4. Add the marshmallows to melted butter, along with the salt and cocoa powder. Stir periodically until melted.
  5. When you see just a few white streaks remaining, add chopped cherries and stir.
  6. Add cereal, and stir carefully until all pieces are coated.
  7. Pour mixture into 8x8 pan, and spread into corners.
  8. Chop chocolate and place into a small, heavy pot over low heat to melt.
  9. Drizzle over crispy treats, and let it set up for 15 to 20 minutes.
  10. Cut into 16 pieces, and serve.
  11. Store any leftovers in a tightly sealed container for up to a week. Separate layers with wax paper to keep them from sticking.

Notes

    • I cut my butter into pats so that it melts more evenly without burning. It's easy to burn butter, even on relatively low heat, so the pieces help.
    • You can use dried cherries in place of the maraschino cherries, but do not use fresh or frozen cherries in this recipe.
    • This works with pretty much any not too flavorful cereal from Rice Chex to Cheerios to Rice Krispies and more.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1 bar
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 148 Total Fat: 4g Saturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 10mg Sodium: 171mg Carbohydrates: 27g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 14g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 1g
This site uses an outside source to provide nutrition. If you need exact details, please calculate yourself.
I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

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