Mixing Up Some Haystacks - Swampy's Kitchen Blog at Allrecipes.com - 267068

Swampy's Kitchen

Mixing Up Some Haystacks 
Feb. 10, 2012 10:04 am 
Updated: Feb. 16, 2012 12:42 pm
Like most people, I like to get free stuff. I won’t stand in line for a sample at Costco but I will cross the street in NYC if I see someone giving away free samples of a new or interesting product. It’s even better when a company sends me some free stuff in the mail. Not everything is a winner (trust me, there is no joy in a SoyJoy Bar) but not everything is terrible either. This is part one of a quick two part story (still have to do part two) about the latest free stuff that was sent to me.

I came home the other night to find not one but two boxes of Fiber One Original Cereal by General Mills with the instructions to make the Chocolate Peanut Butter Haystacks recipe on the back of the box (part 1) and then to make an original recipe of my own creative design using the cereal (part 2). That didn’t seem so tough I thought as I read the recipe. It was chocolate chips, peanut butter & Fiber One. Melt it. Mix it. Chill it. Serve it. Eat it.

Then I opened the box. I am sure that Fiber One Original Cereal is a very healthy & effective product but it is not exactly the most aesthetically pleasing product to look at.  Maybe it would help if it had a bit more of an O shape to it. Anyway it is what it is and I set off to see how the other All Stars had handled this assignment to date. The reviews were mixed but the one thing that kept coming through to me was that the Fiber One had a texture with the chocolate that while not unpleasing, was not exactly all that well liked. I also saw that some of the others had switched up the recipe by adding white chocolate chips or pretzels or raisins with a varying degree of success. It was then that I decided to go for a mirror image of the recipe. Instead of Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips & Peanut Butter, I was going to use Peanut Butter Chips & Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter.

Twelve ounces of Peanut Butter Chips and a half cup of Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter were quickly melted and a pouch of Fiber One (there are two bags in each box) was stirred in. Again, not the most aesthetically pleasing dish to look at but it handled well and I spooned out about 3 to 4 dozen haystacks onto the wax paper to set up. I did give them a little help by putting them in our basement fridge to chill for a couple of hours before serving them.

That night after dinner, I brought them upstairs as an added dessert surprise and the kids attacked them. They really liked how the heavier peanut butter flavor helped mask a little the grainy texture of the Fiber One Original Cereal and I agreed with them completely. While I probably won’t make them again, I have enjoyed snacking on the leftovers when no one is looking.

So come back next time when I discuss Part 2 of this two part story and try to make up an original recipe using Fiber One Original Cereal that hasn’t already been done by somebody else.

I am an Allrecipes Allstar Brand Ambassador(a voluntary position) and I’m not compensated for my work with Allrecipes.com. Products received from advertiser are only used for experienced-based reviews on Swampy’s Kitchen & Behind The Shades. The reviews, content and opinions expressed in this blog are purely the sole opinions of Doug Matthews
peanut butter chips & dark chocolate peanut butter
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Peanut Butter & Chocolate Haystacks
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Peanut Butter Chip & Chocolate PB Haystacks
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Feb. 10, 2012 10:27 am
Nice job Doug. Looking forward to part 2
Feb. 10, 2012 10:32 am
They actually look great! Wonderful job...can't wait to see part 2!
Feb. 10, 2012 10:47 am
Thanks pelicangal - your 2nd dish (and 3rd dish) really have me thinking now
Feb. 10, 2012 10:48 am
Hi Cindy & thanks - now I just need to figure out what to do for Part 2
Feb. 10, 2012 11:19 am
by the way, I did watch the last 1/4 of the supper bowl. my wife would like this because she likes all the high fiber cereals and chocolate.
Feb. 10, 2012 11:22 am
I Doug - I have never had chocolate peanut butter - not a chocolate fan here and I lead a sheltered life in the world of chocolate. I am still working on what I am going to make for part 2. All I know is that it will not encompass chocolate.
Feb. 10, 2012 11:29 am
All in all, I thought they were pretty good and certainly easy. Glad you guys liked them too:)
Feb. 10, 2012 11:31 am
Hi KingSparta - you picked the right time to watch - you got to miss seeing Madonna and you got to see all of the real action. There are a lot variations for this recipe so I am sure you can find one that your wife will like. Thanks for stopping in.
Feb. 10, 2012 11:34 am
Hi BN - The Peanut Butter Company here in NYC makes various all natural flavored peanut butters. I used Dark Chocolate Dreams for this recipe. They also have maple, cinnamon raisin and SPICY HOT just to name a few. I'm thinking dessert again for Part 2.
Feb. 10, 2012 11:35 am
Aloha Julie - like I said, melt it, mix it, chill it, serve it, eat it - just get the mixing bowl cleaned (or licked) before it hardens.
Feb. 10, 2012 3:13 pm
Hi, Doug! Thanks for the blog. You are so creative! I'm probably going to make the haystacks tomorrow.
Feb. 10, 2012 4:17 pm
Hi Bibi & thanks - let us know how you do and what you do.
Feb. 10, 2012 6:16 pm
I just get over the sawdust flavor and the aspartame that was listed as an ingredient. I got enough of eating sawdust during my 15 year logging career...not about to go there again by eating THAT cereal...LOL! Great job, Doug!
Feb. 10, 2012 6:17 pm
oops...typos! I just *can't* get over...
Feb. 11, 2012 9:04 am
Hi Laurrie - the heavier dose of peanut butter did help with the fiber aspect but I can certainly see your point. I spent the summer of 81 cutting & splitting wood at Jackson Lake Lodge so I got a very small taste of your world.
Feb. 11, 2012 12:59 pm
Doug thanks for the honest appraisal. I won't likely ever eat the stuff but that's beside the point. The whole shilling for General Mills thing kinda sticks in my craw. I'm curious, is it part of the requirement in this round of product endorsement that you blog about it? I suspect it must be from the sheer amount of you that have been blogging about making something like these haystacks. I look at he AR ABA thing and I'd like to try it but I just don't know if I could get past the having to wear the T-shirt deal. How do you feel about it? I am member of several consumer review groups and right now we have a breakfast cereal we are supposed to be appraising, a soy based thing that gets rather soggy quickly. I mention that because I'm not against this sort of thing. It's the whole T-shirt thing that kinda bugs me.
Feb. 13, 2012 6:12 am
Morning Randy - I haven't been avoiding your question, just been thinking through my answer. While blogging about an assignment or a product is ever a required assignment, it is an incentivized extra credit project. It gets you an extra entry into the end of the month sweepstakes. I guess the prize must be a good one this month. I never pay attention. I wrote this blog not for that reason but because I thought the picture I took of the ingredients & the ingredients themselves were different than the norm. I also have to admit, I liked my line about the preparation (Melt it, Mix it. etc...) and built my blog from there. As for "wearing the T-shirt", I am not in love with the assignments that partner with a particular product but I do understand AR's desire to get their partner some feedback beyond study groups & test kitchens. Do I think everyone is 100% honest in their assessments of the products ? No I don't but I think you can get a pretty good idea about the results. The monthly assignments I do like are either the theme assignments (slow cooker, southern collection etal.) or the faceless recipes. These are where we are working with the recipes submitted by other AR users in the community. Every recipe deserves recognition and I think that is a good portion of what we do. I hope that answers your question. Have a great day.
Feb. 13, 2012 2:32 pm
I'm so glad you both responded and didn't take my questions wrong. Thanks for a very thoughtful reply Doug, I really appreciate that. The faceless recipe thing sounds awesome, I always read Pam3Boys blogs cover to cover, just enjoy that. I always think, hey I should do that, and then never do lol. So you don't HAVE to do the blog thing, that's kind of what I wanted to hear. Incentive to do so? Ahh now it all makes sense, don't think I've seen so many blogs on the same subject ever. Anyhow, thanks for the thoughtful reply, I may someday throw my hat in the ring beyond hauling my groceries home in AR bags.
Feb. 15, 2012 5:44 am
Good morning Sir! I love chocolate and peanut butter, and fear if I made a batch of these, I would eat ALL of them and thus RUIN my bikini-hopes for this summer ;P I will just watch from the sidelines and thank my lucky stars I can not gain weight by LOOKING :) Looking forward to seeing what you come up with for Part 2! (and am also somewhat glad that I am excluded from participating in the Allstars by geography - see weight gain comment above) :D
Feb. 15, 2012 9:09 am
Good morning Gitano ! The kids do like these and it is a somewhat sneaky way to get some more fiber in their diet. Did not know that we did not have any All Stars north of the border. I was looking forwrd to the month where we had to cook everything with Back Bacon & Molson Bradors.
Feb. 15, 2012 12:29 pm
LOL! OMG... Brador... have not had one of those in eons! Take note ~ with the higher alcohol content, you do not need to drink as many as say Coors Light to get up out of your chair and fall flat on your face! :D AR Allstars is strictly a US thing, all other countries are exculded :( My guess is the shipping of products outside of the US would get pretty darn pricey... as well as the coupons issued for any products are only good in the US....BUM-MER! But I will deginitely be following up your Part Deux! :)
Feb. 16, 2012 12:42 pm
Well if you are going to have to eat Fiber One (no offense to them but are talking FIBER) chocolate and peanut butter sure do help! Thanks Doug! Will wait for part deux!
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Doug Matthews

Home Town
Princeton, New Jersey, USA
Living In
Mendham, New Jersey, USA

Member Since
Mar. 2000

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Cooking Interests
Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Southern, Healthy, Kids, Quick & Easy

Gardening, Reading Books, Music, Charity Work

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About Me
My mother decided early on that her sons would never have to rely on someone to feed them so we all learned to cook at an early age. I really started to branch out when I moved out west to Denver, SF & Dallas. Combine that with extended business travel to Louisiana & my growing love of spices and you get a real mix of flavors.
My favorite things to cook
Love to make cajun food with my favorites being crawfish pie, alligator stew & alligator chili - I go nuts on Super Bowl Sunday
My favorite family cooking traditions
We didn't have a lot of traditions per se but you could count on pancakes or waffles on sundays - dad making scrambled eggs twice a year on christmas morning & mother's day - veal parmagiana on christmas eve, Thanksgiving with Grandma Matthews and any menu of your choice on your birthday. We weren't a spicy family so I learned a lot of good strong basics in the kitchen from Mom that I have carried over into my cooking today.
My cooking triumphs
I love to experiment with variations of dishes I try around the country. My biggest success is here on allrecipes where I had 2 recipes published in the same cookbook - Southwestern Turkey Soup & Curried Carrot Soup. I think my corn muffins are a great starting point and my alligator chili has become a much requested Super Bowl favorite.
My cooking tragedies
There have been a few times in the past where I tossed everything and took everyone to a restaurant instead. I'm not too proud to say my cooking is awful when it really is.
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