Without good snacks, a road trip is just a long car ride. Hours in the car are infinitely more enjoyable with a treat, but not just any snack will do. There are a few criteria that the best road trip snacks need to meet.
1: They can’t be too crumbly. Flaky granola bars might be readily available in gas stations, but you’ll regret it when you’re vacuuming oatmeal out of your car months later.
2: They can’t be dust-coated. A box of powdered doughnuts will make it look like there was a blizzard inside of your car. Cheesy chips will leave your steering wheel coated in a thin layer of orange.
3: They should be slightly indulgent. This is vacation. Live a little!
4. They shouldn’t be too filling. The goal here is to enjoy some treats during the day and save room for a nourishing dinner once you arrive at your destination.
There’s one snack that ticks all of those boxes and more: Cereal bars. Cereal bars, and their most famous family member, the Rice Krispie bar, are the perfect food for the car. They’re satisfyingly crispy, easy to eat, and simultaneously light and indulgent. They’re so easy to make that you’ll be able to throw them together at home before you pack up the car.
How to Make Cereal Bars
The best thing about cereal bars is that they’re adaptable. Start with this base recipe, and then make it your own with add-ins. You can try switching up the cereal, adding a pinch of salt, throwing in sliced nuts, or adding shredded coconut.
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 10 oz marshmallows
- 6 cups of cereal
Place the butter medium pot over medium heat and add ½ of the butter. Move the butter around with a spoon or heat-proof spatula while it melts. After it has completely melted, you’ll see it start to foam up around the edges. Continue to stir, watching the butter closely. After the foam subsides and you see some brown specks forming in the bottom of your pan, the butter is ready.
Add in the marshmallows, and stir until they are completely melted. Add any wet mix-ins like honey, nut butter, or vanilla extract.
Remove from heat and stir in cereal and any dry add-ins, like shredded coconut or sliced nuts.
Using a spatula coated in cooking spray, spread this mixture evenly into a 13 X 9 inch pan.
Once cool, cut your treats with a serrated knife and enjoy. Pack in an airtight container and hit the road.