My parents' list of acceptable and unacceptable breakfast cereals was completely arbitrary and utterly nonsensical: the parents' prerogative. Cocoa Puffs was a definite no—a summer camp or sleepover treat exclusively.
But would they have let me eat this homemade version (made from seven ingredients and free of refined sugar, if that's a concern for you) from Genevieve Ko's new book Better Baking? Well it doesn't matter anymore because I'm a grown woman and I can occasionally eat chocolate for breakfast in moderation if I want to. And I want to!
The process of making these DIY "Coco Puffs" (which are really more like a mix between Puffs and Krispies) is similar to that for Rice Krispies treats. Except that instead of mixing the popped grains into a threateningly sticky mass of melted marshmallows and butter (more on how to do thathere), you coat them in a mix of coconut oil, unsweetened cocoa powder, honey, salt, and vanilla extract. Then you bake them for 25 minutes at 300° F until they've re-crisped.
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And yes, you could use Rice Krispies as the base of this cereal, though Ko recommends grains that are "light and airy" and "slightly inflated"—she likes Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs. You could also use the generic puffs that come in the nondescript bags on the outskirts of the cereal aisle: Try kamut puffs, why don't you!
The base mixture is open to interpretation, too: Experiment with melting down peanut butter or tahini along with the cocoa powder and coconut oil, or adding in a pinch of cinnamon or cayenne.
For flavor and texture variance, Ko also folds in large-flake coconut along with the cereal. You can try other add-ins in its place: chopped nuts, pumpkin or sunflower seeds, a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Though now you're encroaching into granola territory...
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