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Quick Sweet Summer Treats

April 2003 Issue

Safety On Wheels

Digital Photography

Quick Sweet
Summer Treats

A Cure for the
Backseat Blues

Developing “Little
People” Skills

Did You Know?

Mail Bag

Gerber Life
Family Times Archive

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Now that your little ones are free from the ritual of school and can spend their days running with friends from yard to yard to yard, they are bound to wind-up in the kitchen groaning that they are hungry and looking for something to eat. All that extra play and exercise does indeed burn calories and often leaves kids hungry between meals and in need of a quick treat.

With increased pressures from work schedules and other family obligations through the summer, time is a precious commodity. The less time spent in the kitchen making snacks, the better. Here are a few speedy and sweet snack ideas that take very little time to prepare and will help provide a fast answer to your child’s summertime hunger pangs.

Popcorn Balls

These convenient snacks have just a bit of sweetness and are fun to make and eat.

8 cups popped popcorn
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup margarine or butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Combine brown sugar, corn syrup, margarine and salt in a large pot. Heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and stir. Fold in popcorn and stir until coated. Allow to cool slightly.

Dip hands into cold water and shape popcorn balls about 2 inches in diameter. Place on waxed paper to cool. Wrap in plastic wrap and tie with a twist tie to store. Makes 6 popcorn balls.

“Crispy” Treats

A favorite and a traditional snack in almost every household.

6 cups crisped rice cereal
4 cups miniature marshmallows
3 Tbsp. butter

Combine marshmallow and butter in a microwavable bowl and microwave on high for two minutes. Stir and microwave for an additional 30 seconds. Remove mixture and stir. Add cereal and stir to coat. Press mixture into a buttered 13" x 9" x 2" pan and allow to cool until set. Cut into squares to serve.

Try your own variations by adding milk chocolate chips or candy pieces, or by substituting other crunchy cereals for the crisped rice.

S’mores

Although traditionally made with marshmallows melted over a campfire, this treat is almost as good (and much easier) when it’s made using a microwave oven.

Graham crackers
Large marshmallows
Milk chocolate bars
Paper towels

Make a layer of a few folded paper towels (to absorb extra moisture). Place a piece of milk chocolate bar on top of a graham cracker half and top with a marshmallow. Place s’more on paper towels and microwave on high (100% power) for 15 seconds or until marshmallow begins to puff. Remove from microwave, top with the other graham cracker half and press together. Serve warm.

Bar Cookies

Most cookie recipes can be easily converted into bar cookies, eliminating the time and drudgery of making individual cookies and cooking them in batches. Choose your favorite chocolate chip, peanut butter or other cookie recipe, prepare the dough, press it into a 13" x 9" x 2" pan. Baking times will be a bit longer than they are for individual cookies (roughly 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs attached). Once they cool, cut the cookie bars in the pan and you’ll have the same great tasting cookies without the extensive investment of time in preparation.

Other “quickie” treats include apple slices with prepackaged caramel dipping sauce (now available in individual serving size packets) and the old standard of celery filled with peanut butter—filling, crunchy and even nutritious. So set aside a few minutes and give your kids a treat to make their summer day perfect!

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