Off brand bust

I love saving money. Several years ago I stopped being a brand snob and tried store brands. Generally speaking, store brands continue to surprise me with better than expected taste and quality. For example, I have found most store brand condensed soups are as good as or better than the leading brand. Walmart, Aldi, Save-a-lot, and IGA are a few of my favorites.

Inevitably, I have ┬ácome across a few products that even the dog won’t eat. Recently, I tried Aldi’s Millville Crispy Oats cereal. The picture on the box looks just like a bowl full of Cheerios. After several days of my 13 month old granddaughter spitting them out and/or throwing them on the floor, I decided to try them myself. Yuck! The moment I poured milk over them, they were a soggy mess.I personally couldn’t get more than one bite down.

Image result for images Millville crispy oats

Never one to give up, because of my aversion to waste, I decided to salvage the situation by making the recipe on the back of the box for Millville Caramel Crunch Bars.

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups Millville Crispy Oats cereal
  • 1 14-ounce bag caramels, unwrapped
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1 cup candy-coated chocolate candy
  • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts

Chocolate Topping:

  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 teaspoons shortening

Directions:

  1. Coat a 9×13 pan with butter. (I used wax paper.) In a large bowl, combine cereal, marshmallows, candy-coated chocolate (I used M&M’s), and peanuts.
  2. In a microwavable bowl, combine caramels and water.Microwave on HIGH for 2-4 minutes, stirring each minute until smooth. Pour caramel over cereal mixture, gently stirring until coated. Press mixture into pan using a buttered spatula.
  3. In a small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate and shortening for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Spoon over bars. Refrigerate for 1/2 hour or until bars are set.

Makes 36 bars. Store loosely covered.

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I’m sad to say, my expectations for making use of a bad box of cereal were not met. Though the bars smelled great, they never got solid enough to form bars and the grandbabies still wouldn’t eat them.

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Next time I’ll buy the real deal (Cheerio’s). I might try making a few adjustments to the recipe and giving the cereal bars another shot. Do you have any off brand hits or misses? I’d love to hear from you!

 

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