There are certain things I looks forward to every October… the perfectly ripe apples, the pumpkins and gourds placed everywhere, and of course, the reemergence of General Mills monster cereals. This year the usual suspects of Count Chocula, Frankenberry, and Booberry were joined by old friends Fruit Brute and Yummy Mummy, which Newton featured in an earlier Infinite Cuisine. In the past few years, the popularity of the monster cereal brands has led to some spinoff products, such as Frankenberry Fruit Rollups and today’s subject, Count Cholula cereal bars.

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I’ve tried all of the monster cereals, and my favorites are definitely Count Chocula and Frankenberry. It’s no secret that Chocula is basically Cocoa Puffs, in a different shape and with marshmallows. But while I always pick up at least one box of Count Chocula each year, I never buy Cocoa Puffs. The simple change of shape can have a big impact on cereal, as it changes the texture and the way the pieces interact with the milk. The addition of marshmallows is a big plus as well. My point is, there is a connection to Cocoa Puffs, but the cereals are not the same.

Unfortunately, these cereal bars are made out of Cocoa puffs, and not Count Chocula. The cereal pieces are clearly little chocolate globes, not the chocolate ghosts I was expecting. And while there is some small amount of gooey white marshmallow in evidence, I was expecting a healthy portion of the crunchy Count Chocula marshmallows to be mixed in. Instead there are none. These bars are probably released as Cocoa Puffs branded treats all year long.

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So now that I have established that these are not really authentic Count Chocula treats, how do they taste? Pretty good. We’ve got chocolate cereal pieces with some marshmallow to hold things together, sitting on a bed of chocolate and with a chocolate drizzle for good measure. The thing is, these are a bit rich and sweet for my tastes, particularly in the morning. A cereal like Count Chocula is already pushing it a bit, but with the chocolate coating on these bars it all gets to be a bit much. I have found they are perfect in the early afternoon for a burst of energy necessary to make it until lunch, or maybe a bit later during the 3pm slump. They are small enough to be a sweet little snack.

Actually, they are very small. I was surprised how tiny they are based on other cereal bar brands I’ve purchased. They are smaller even than, say, a Chewy granola bar. I find these bit-size bars to be perfect for a little snack, but I would understand if some people end up disappointed and unsatisfied.

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Overall, I find these bars to be okay, but if they were made with real Count Chocula pieces and, more importantly, marshmallows, they could have been far more interesting. I would love for Frankenberry to be made into cereal bars as well, as there is nothing quite like the taste of artificial strawberry in the morning.

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