Fantasy Foodball: Reindeer Pops vs. Snowmen Pops

By: Roberto Ferdman

With only 4 weeks left in the football season, you've likely exhausted (if not repeated) most Sunday entertaining foods. When the season kicked off in September, warmer weather meant burgers, hot dogs and the like. Then cooler climates ushered grills from off patios and into storage, calling instead on heartier fall fare like chili for your tailgating parties. Sure, chicken wings may always be a good play on gameday, but this week we're calling an audible and leaning on the holidays for some Sunday foodball inspiration.

Rather than bringing another savory snack to your TV room, balance out the bar food with something sweet. Hand-held, bite-sized and covered in marshmallow and chocolate, these cereal pops are the sort of treat you'll want to serve. Sure, they may be intended for dessert, but lay them out early and watch them get plucked in a matter of minutes.

Apropos this week’s match-up between the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers, we’re teaming up with the National Football League to offer up a rice cereal pop recipe with two rival twists — one red and reindeer-themed, and the other an ode to snowmen. Taking sides is always tough, but choosing between these two? It may be too tough to call.

Reindeer & Snowmen Rice Cereal Pops
Recipe(s) courtesy Tami Beitz, the NFL’s official Homegating expert

Prep Time: 20 minutes  Cooking Time: 10 minutes.

Makes approx 36 rice cereal pops

Ingredients:

6 cups rice cereal

1 bag of large marshmallows

¼ cup butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 to 3 cups milk chocolate candy melting discs

½ cup mini chocolate chips

1 cup pretzels
¼ cup red colored chocolate candies

2 to 3 cups white chocolate candy melting discs

1 pre-made orange icing tube

¼ cup blue colored chocolate candies
Red licorice strings (8 strings cut into 1” pieces)
Decorative “Pop” stand (optional)
Directions
Melt ¼ cup of butter and 1 teaspoon of vanilla
Once melted, add 1 bag of large marshmallows
Cook on low heat and continue to stir mixture to avoid scorching
Once melted, remove from heat and add 6 cups of rice cereal
Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then form into 1 to 1 ½ inch size balls

To make them firm enough for coating, place in the freezer for 3 minutes

Once chilled, insert cake pop stick
Reindeer Rice Cereal Pops:

Use approximately 2 to 3 cups of milk chocolate candy melting discs, place in microwave safe bowl and heat for 30 second intervals until melted and mixed to a smooth consistency

Dip rice cereal pops into the chocolate and turn pop to coat entirely, tap edge of bowl to remove excess chocolate drips

Place dipped pops onto parchment paper or cake pop stand
Allow the chocolate to set before placing candy

Using red colored chocolate candies, place nose onto center of rice cereal pop

Place two mini chocolate chips as the eyes

Allow the chocolate to completely cool before inserting the Pretzels as the antlers, be sure to break the Pretzels in half before inserting

Snowmen Rice Cereal Pops:

Use approximately 2 to 3 cups of white chocolate candy melting discs, place in microwave safe bowl and heat for 30 second intervals until melted and mixed to a smooth consistency

Dip rice cereal pops into the white chocolate and turn pop to coat entirely, tap edge of bowl to remove excess white chocolate drips

Place dipped pops onto parchment paper or cake pop stand
Allow the white chocolate to set before placing candy

Place two mini chocolate chips as the eyes and use five to form the mouth

Use orange premade icing to apply nose

Place licorice string on top of rice pop from right to left to help form the ear muff band

Use two blue colored chocolate candies and place on the ends of the  licorice strings to complete the ear muffs

To complete the rice cereal pops, add decorative ribbon to the stick in the NFL team colors of your choice.

More Holiday Munching:

Which cereal pop wins your vote?
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