Jordan's Page of Useless Babble

A Semi-Epic Saga

I love Halloween. Well, most parts of it anyway. I love the costumes and the abundance of candy, the ready availability of horror movies and even the decorations and haunted houses. Last year, I decided that I would take that love of all things Halloween, and channel it in a strange way: I would use Count Chocula cereal and recreate a storyline from the webcomic Something Positive.

It worked...almost too well. I made three concoctions: Chocula Crispy Treats, Chocula Brownies and the Count's Slimer Cookies. They tasted good, really good considering the circumstances, and the crowds at that year's Halloween All-Nighter at Elan Games ate them with gusto.

Since it worked so well, I decided that this year, I would try the experiment again, but this time, using Frankenberry cereal instead of Count Chocula. It would be a challenge though. Count Chocula cereal is chocolate, and it's a lot easier to make something chocolatey taste good. Frankenberry on the other-hand is strawberry-flavored, which would present a bit of a stumbling block. I'd have to be very careful to keep my creations from tasting like shit.

But there was another problem. I no longer had a huge supply of guinea pigs on hand. Elan Games had shut it's doors in March, which meant that there wasn't going to be a Halloween party there this year. At least not without breaking into the building. There was one option though: my Dungeons and Dragons group, made up entirely of former players at Elan Games. Most of them were there to try the Count Chocula treats, and they were on board for a second try.

So, with those issues out of the way, it was time to figure out what to make.

I went back into the archives of Something Positive looking for inspiration. Unfortunately, there was only one reference to Frankenberry cereal (see above): Frankenberry crumble. That meant that I'd have to figure out the other recipes on my own.

Finally, after much deliberation, I settled on two other recipes: Frankenberry Crispy Treats (much like the Chocula Crispy Treats from last year) and Frankenberry Shortcake...which should be something like Strawberry Shortcake, only with Frankenberry.

That's positively horrifying.
That's positively horrifying.

So, I had a group of guinea pigs and I had my plan. It was time to start baking!

Chapter 1: Didn't I Forget Something?

I gathered all my ingredients together and got ready to bake before it dawned on me. In order to cook with Frankenberry cereal, I probably should have some of it on hand.

Remembering the absolute catastrophe of trying to find those monster cereals from last year, I decided to just go ahead and check online first. It would probably be a better use of my time than trying to hit up every single grocery store within 50 miles and get nothing but blank stares, confusion and the occasional bit of nostalgia in return.

I hit Ebay up first, and lo and behold, was able to get a couple of boxes of Frankenberry without getting raped too hard for the shipping, and the best part: it was actually going to come in ahead of when I absolutely needed it. Thank goodness for that!

Several anxious days later, the boxes arrived and I was able to begin my crimes against nature.

Fuck yeah.
Fuck yeah.

Chapter 2: Frankenberry Crispy Treats

I figured that it would be best to start with the easiest recipe first, then move my way into the harder stuff. First up: Frankenberry Crispy Treats.

The Frankenberry Crispy Treat is a close relative of the Rice Krispy Treat, but instead of using bland rice cereal, we're using super sweetened strawberry-flavored corn cereal! The best part of these is that the marbits (that is the dehydrated marshmallow bits) that come in the cereal melt a bit, but not all the way, giving it a chewier, more granola-bar texture. The marbits here are in white, blue, pink and purple, so they contrast extremely well with the pink color of the bars.

However I forgot to account for one thing.

More marshmallows means more stickiness.

It's really sticky.
It's really sticky

By about the time I started stirring the cereal into the buttery marshmallow mixture, I realized my mistake. The stuff just became sticky...really sticky. And with bigger pieces than a rice krispy, it quickly became large and unwieldy. Quickly I tried to move the bars over to the greased pans I had waiting.

I mean REALLY sticky.
I mean really sticky.

And I immediately forgot to grease my hands before I started moving the bars to their pans. The result was an ultra sticky, cobweb-like mess. It took a lot of scrubbing to get that marshmellow shit off my hands, but in the end it was all worth it.

And this is what makes it all worthwhile.
And this is what makes it all worthwhile.

The smell, is unbelievable. It's a strong, fruity flavor. Not exactly strawberry, but pretty close. The fragrant aroma filled the kitchen. If they taste half as good as they smell, we're all in for a treat this year.

About now, you might be wondering why I decided to put the treats into a pair of pie pans. Well...

Try getting this image out of your brain!
Try getting this image out of your brain!

One down, two to go. It's going to be one busy night!

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