Cheerio Power Clusters

April 21, 2016

This is a sponsored post by General Mills Big G Cereals via Acorn Influence.  All opinions are my own.   Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible.

cheerio clusters 3

Having energy snacks on hand is very important in our household.  As part of our lunch-packing routine, at least two snacks go into the lunch box on a daily basis.  A variety or creative snacks and overall great tasting are a must to keep my son’s interest during snack time at school.  It gives me peace of mind knowing that my son is happy and satisfied with his special treats to hold him off until his next meal.

As a young girl, my favorite snack was called pepitoria.  An energy snack made with sesame seeds, pepitas and peanuts held together by honey or melted piloncillo.  This popular snack could be found sold by street vendors, candy stores and neighborhood convenience stores.  They were delicious, conveniently sized and had a long shelf life.

Cheerio Clusters

I loved pepitoria so much that my mom learned how to prepare it for me.  I attentively watched as she stirred and poured a combination of nuts, seeds and dried fruit into fun power bars I couldn’t wait to enjoy.

I will always cherish those memories in the kitchen with my mom.  Those memories are where my love of cooking came from and I couldn’t be more thankful to her.  Now, I want to create memorable moments with my son by including him in my snack-making projects.  Because he loves Honey Nut Cheerios so much, I decided to make something special for him with his favorite cereal.  I headed off to Walmart and found all the ingredients I needed for this special treat.

Cheerio Cluster 1

Inspired by my favorite snack made by my mom, we made Cheerio power clusters with raw pepitas, sesame seeds, walnuts and chocolate chips.   These clusters are perfect treats for little hands, transport easily and fit perfectly in lunch boxes.  They can be made a week ahead and kept fresh to be enjoyed all week.  To change it up a bit, different toppings such as coconut flakes, raisins, flax seed and sprinkles can be used over the sweet Honey Nut Cheerios base.

So many more recipes can be made with Honey Nut Cheerios.  You can find a variety of creative recipe ideas for kids at www.quericavida.com by searching “Dia de Los Niños”, by following#HoneyNutCheerios #NuestroCereal hashtags on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram or by checking out their tasty recipes on Pinterest.

Cheerio Power Clusters

Yield: Makes 5 cups

Ingredients

  • non-stick cooking spray
  • 4 cups Honey Nut Cheerios
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1/3 cup raw pepitas
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1/3 cup mini dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Spray a 4-quart heavy pot, silicone spoon and a 24"x12" sheet of parchment paper with non-stick cooking spray. Set parchment paper aside on a working surface.
  2. Add Honey Nut Cheerios and marshmallows to the pot and heat over medium heat. Stir constantly with silicone spoon until marshmallows melt and Honey Nut Cheerios are completely incorporated in the mixture.
  3. Immediately pour mixture on sheet of parchment paper, carefully pressing down with large spoon, spreading mixture into a 1-inch layer. Still warm and sticky, evenly sprinkle with pepitas, walnuts, sesame seeds and chocolate chips. Let set for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Carefully pull apart layer into 2 to 3-inch clusters. Enjoy or store up to 5 days in a tightly sealed plastic bag or container at room temperature.
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