Gooey Chocolate Puffed Wheat Squares
These are the gooiest most chocolaty puffed wheat squares I have ever had. I didn’t used to be a big fan of puffed wheat squares- that is, until I tried these! Now, I can’t get enough of them, and since I have been making them this way, everybody likes them. They are an easy, stove-top recipe, similar to those chocolate oatmeal haystacks (yum, now I want to make those!). Puffed wheat squares make a great choice for a potluck or picnic as they travel well and are easy finger food. If you are hosting a big event, it is easy to double or triple the recipe, and they freeze wonderfully, so you can make ahead and freeze. So, there is no reason not to make these today!
I adapted this recipe from a site called Mennonite Girls Can Cook. I played with the sugar amounts, and an addition totally mine is the Nutella. Of course, if you are a purist, you don’t have to use it. It is still really good without it. But, really, who doesn’t like Nutella? I couldn’t really taste it as much as I wanted to, so I think next time I will put in more – 1/4 cup or so, and see how it comes out.
The secret to perfect puffed wheat squares is the timing. If you don’t cook the syrup long enough, the squares won’t stick together. If you cook the syrup too long, they are dry and crunchy. The original recipe said to remove from heat as soon as it came to a boil, but I found the squares would not stick together. Last time I made it, I didn’t have the vanilla or nutella ready when the timer went, so even though I removed the pot from the stove, it kept on boiling and got a little bit overcooked. Not bad, but a little harder than I wanted. For such an easy recipe, you wouldn’t expect it to be so picky. What you are really doing here is making candy, and if you have ever tried making caramel or fudge, you know what I mean. The consistency of your candy totally depends on the temperature that the syrup reaches before you stop the cooking. So, I recommend that you have the vanilla all ready, and also the Nutella if you are using it. Stirring these in starts the cooling process, and so you have to do it right away. Careful when you are pouring the syrup over the puffed wheat. It’s super hot!
Here is the step-by-step instructions:
1. Get all of your ingredients out.
2. This is the margarine, corn syrup, sugars and cocoa powder starting to melt and come together. It is just starting to bubble, but it’s not ready yet! Also, Notice the clumps of cocoa? They will come out when it boils, but if it worries you, stir the cocoa into the white sugar first to get any lumps out, then add all the rest of the remaining ingredients.
3. This is it! A full rolling boil. That is when you con’t stir it down, it just keeps bubbling. Set the timer for one minute right now. Make sure your vanilla bottle is open, and your Nutella is open and ready.
4. Once your timer goes, remove the pot from the heat, immediately stir in the vanilla and the Nutella, and pour over the puffed wheat in the bowl. What you can’t see here, was that the candy just settled to the bottom of the bowl, and pushed the dry puffed wheat up and over the sides. I had puffed wheat everywhere. I was trying to stir the candy in, and my spoon handle wasn’t long enough, and I was getting my fingers in it, and it was hot! And I was desperately trying to scoop the rest of the puffed wheat off the counter and put it back in the bowl. Whew! Steve was laughing at me, and I was yelling “Don’t take any pictures!!” It’s funny now, but I wasn’t laughing at the time. So, lesson learned – I need to use a bigger bowl next time!
5. Pour the whole mess into your greased pan.
6. Here is what I use the waxed paper for. The mixture is still really hot and sticky at this point, and you don’t dare try to pat it down with your hands. So, I use a piece of waxed paper over top, press down all over the top of the mixture and it will stick together nicely, without sticking to you. It I had been even smarter, I would have lined the pan with waxed paper too, which would have made it much easier to remove the whole thing from the pan without having it break apart. I’ll do that next time!
7. Peel the paper back, and voila! Puffed wheat cake!
It I had been even smarter, I would have lined the pan with waxed paper too, which would have made it much easier to remove the whole thing from the pan without having it break apart. I’ll do that next time!
8. Let it cool and harden before cutting.
The cook gets those uneven ones from along the edge! YUM!!
And here’s the recipe:
These are the gooiest most chocolaty puffed wheat squares I have ever had. I didn’t used to be a big fan of puffed wheat squares- that is, until I tried these! Now, everybody likes them. They are an easy, stove-top recipe. Makes a great choice for a potluck or picnic. Easy to double or triple the recipe, and they freeze wonderfully.
|Oven Temp:||—||Cook Time:||1 min||Makes:||9 x 13 pan|
- ½ cup butter or hard margarine
- 1 cup corn syrup
- ½ cup white sugar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 5 well rounded Tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 heaping Tbsp Nutella (optional)
- 10 cups puffed wheat
- First, you are going to spray an extra- large bowl with non-stick vegetable spray. Also spray a 9 x 13 inch pan, and get your wax paper out so it’s handy.
- Measure out 10 cups puffed wheat into the large, greased bowl.
- Combine butter, corn syrup, sugars and cocoa powder in a heavy saucepan.
- Heat over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until it starts to come to a boil. Bring to a full boil, and immediately set the timer for 1 minute.
- Just before the timer goes, add vanilla, stir, and pour over the puffed wheat in the bowl.
- Stir quickly to completely coat the puffed wheat with the chocolate syrup.
- Pour into your greased 9 x 13 inch pan, and press down using a sheet of waxed paper. (saves your hands from sticking to the hot puffed wheat).
The secret to perfect puffed wheat squares is the timing. If you don’t cook the syrup long enough, they won’t stick together. If you cook the syrup too long, they are dry, resembling the hardness of crackerjacks. Make sure to have your vanilla all ready measured out, and also the Nutella if you are using. Stir then in quickly, then pour immediately over your puffed wheat. Make sure to prep ahead, and then it will come out perfectly.