- Homemade cookie cereal is the newest food craze to take over TikTok and Instagram.
- So I decided to try the trend for myself, and was shocked at how easy – and quick – it was to replicate.
- I talked to food bloggers Sydney Melhoff and Justin Schuble for their tips on making the best version.
- The cookie cereal was delicious, and took me right back to my ’90s childhood when I was obsessed with Cookie Crisp.
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When I think back to my childhood in the ’90s – long before the rise of kale, quinoa, and cold-pressed juices – a variety of delicious treats come to mind. The Lunchables I swapped with my friends, the Capri Suns of YMCA summer camps, and, of course, those sugar-drenched breakfast cereals.
From Reese’s Puffs and Oreo O’s to Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Fruity Pebbles, my family tried them all. But there was one cereal that my dad and I loved the most, always excitedly filling our bowls with tiny cookies and a pool of milk. Ah yes, Cookie Crisp.
I haven’t thought about Cookie Crisp for years. But when I saw the cereal trending on Twitter earlier this month, I was immediately intrigued. The beloved ’90s treat had been given a 2020 spin, with food bloggers making their own homemade versions on TikTok and Instagram.
With plenty of time on my hands, I decided to try the trend for myself – and quickly realised that making homemade cookie cereal doesn’t actually take much work. Better yet? It’s absolutely delicious.
Before I tell you about my experience, let me give you some background on these homemade Cookie Crisps.
I first saw Cookie Crisp trending on Twitter after Justin Schuble posted his cookie cereal video on social media.
@justinmschuble##duet with @justinmschubleoops I did it again! I think this batch turned out even better##MakeBakeShake##cookiecereal##learnfromme##pancakecereal
So I reached out to both of the food bloggers, hoping to learn more about this new cereal trend that was already dominating TikTok and Instagram.
Sydney Melhoff has made everything from tiny eggs to miniature cinnamon rolls, but it’s cookie cereal that she loves the most.
“Cookies and milk are a conventional duo, so why not turn it into a cereal!” she told me. “Its been extremely fun to see everyone re-create cookie cereal and add their own spin to it. Especially at a time like this, cooking or baking can be a diverting or enjoyable outlet for so many people.”
Schuble told me he loves how accessible cookie cereal is, as the recipe only requires a few simple ingredients.
“Most of my recipes are simple, easy to replicate, and use ingredients that you probably have in your pantry because I want to provide my audience with ideas for what they can make at home,” he said. “Most people either have cookie dough in their fridge, or have the ingredients necessary to make it.”
All you really need to make homemade cookie cereal is, well, cookie dough.
I also bought a bag of chocolate chips, which was one of Schuble’s tips. Schuble added an extra chocolate chip on top of each of his miniature cookies when he baked them the second time around, and said it made for an even more beautiful presentation.
Plus, who can say no to more chocolate?
It was time to prepare my miniature cookie pieces, and both Melhoff and Justin Schuble gave me some great tips before I started making the cereal.
“I learned a lot on my first go-around, so when I remade the cookie cereal for the second time it was way better,” Schuble told me. “I would recommend making sure all of the cookie dough pieces are the same size so that they cook evenly.”
Melhoff also learned some essential lessons when she first tried to create cookie cereal.
“I tested a few cookies beforehand and they came out too big,” she said. “I really wanted to replicate the size of normal cereal, so it was surprising how small you have to shape the cookie batter before baking. In the oven they double – if not triple – in size, so that’s definitely something to keep in mind.”
Armed with their advice, I decided to cut the dough exactly how Schuble had in his TikTok video.
I first cut the dough lengthwise, slicing through the middle of each square to try and ensure that the pieces would be even. Then I cut the dough crosswise – once again through the middle – to make even smaller pieces.
Then it was time to shape my cookie cereal, which turned out to be the most time-consuming part of the process.
I had seen a few techniques for shaping the cereal pieces. During their first cookie cereal attempts, both Melhoff and Schuble had rolled the dough into small balls and placed them directly onto a baking sheet.
But Schuble now recommends rolling the dough and then flattening it slightly, a trick he had picked up from his second attempt. I decided to try both methods so I could see which one I liked best.
Flattening the edges took more time than I expected, so I also experimented with rolling the dough into a ball and then smashing my palm against it.
This created a similar effect, although it definitely wasn’t as pretty as the pieces I had shaped with my fingers.
Rolling the dough into balls and putting them straight onto the sheet was definitely the quickest method.
I was excited to see just how different my three dough shapes would look when it was time to take them out of the oven.
I also wondered how different my cookie cereal would look with and without the extra chocolate chips.
So I decided not to add any to the pieces on the last two rows of my baking sheet.
Then I popped the cookies into the oven, which I had preheated at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
I set a timer for seven minutes, the amount of baking time that Schuble recommends.
When I took the cookies out of the oven, I could instantly see how the different techniques had affected their presentation.
I had slightly struggled to make all my cookies the same size, but I was happy to see that they still looked quite similar to those in Schuble’s video. And I found that adding extra chocolate chips, plus flattening the dough with my fingers, made the cookies look prettier.
But I was surprised to discover that the pieces I just rolled into balls also came out great, and were probably closer in size to actual Cookie Crisps.
Schuble recommended letting the cookies sit out for a few minutes so they could harden, but after five minutes I found that they were still quite soft.
I had been warned that cookie cereal gets soggy fast, so I decided to let them sit out for another 10 minutes.
As I carefully put the pieces into a bowl, I couldn’t help but feel like a little kid again. The cookies looked beautiful, and I was about to eat them for breakfast!
One of Schuble’s biggest tips? Be careful with the milk.
“The cookies can get soggy,” he told me. “I’d recommend adding some cookies and milk and trying it before adding more milk.”
I followed Schuble’s advice, gingerly pouring some vanilla soy milk into my bowl of cookies.
Then I took my first bite, closing my eyes as I savoured the familiar and comforting taste. Milk and cookies, I realised, really are a match made in heaven.
I don’t think homemade cookie cereal tastes much like Cookie Crisp, but that isn’t a bad thing. I loved how fresh the cookies tasted, and eating them with a bowl and spoon – rather than just dunking them in milk – felt really fun and playful.
Letting the cookies sit for 15 minutes definitely helped. They didn’t get soggy fast, even when I added more milk, and held their shape for far longer than I expected.
But my favourite part of homemade cookie cereal was how good it made the milk taste.
I didn’t let myself finish the entire bowl of cookie cereal, but I couldn’t resist drinking all of the milk. It brought back childhood memories of bringing the bowl straight to my mouth, slurping up the technicolor milk left behind by Fruity Pebbles or the last chocolaty sips from Cococa Puffs.
Schuble told me he wouldn’t be surprised if cookie cereal was the “next big food trend.”
“There is something so cute and Insta-worthy about mini cookies,” he said. “And baking them is a great way to pass the time at home. I see this homemade cookie cereal as a new and fresh version of Cookie Crisp that you can make without going shopping.”
“There are certain ingredients that we all have at home – like eggs and flour – and I think a lot of the trends are coming from people adding their own twist to what they can find in their kitchen,” he added. “It’s definitely more time-consuming than opening a box of cereal, but a lot of us have extra time on our hands these days. And nothing beats warm cookies and milk.”
While I wouldn’t eat homemade cookie cereal every day, I think the food trend should stay.
I’m not surprised that homemade cookie cereal has become such a hit. In times like these, so many people are diverting back to everything from music to food that reminds them of their childhood. I’ve been in lockdown across the country from my family for months, and this cereal brought back wonderful memories of sugary breakfasts in a sun-drenched California kitchen.
I also love that cookie cereal is among the easier quarantine food trends. And, much like with dalgona coffee, I plan to whip it up again when I need a sweet treat – or a blast from the past.
- Read more:
- People are making tiny chocolate chip cookies into cereal, and it’s the hottest new food trend on TikTok
- I tried making dalgona coffee, the newest TikTok craze, and it was definitely worth the hype
- I lived like Ina Garten in lockdown for a day and it was the most fun I’ve had in quarantine
- People are making tiny foods on TikTok so they can eat dessert for breakfast, including cookies and doughnuts
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