Mac n cheese

Photo: Lynn Andriani

The Mac 'n' Cheese with a Snappy, Crackle-y Top
A toasted, crunchy topping is the perfect contrast to ooey, gooey mac 'n' cheese. One of the easiest ways to achieve optimal crunch is to mix equal parts crisped rice cereal, like Rice Krispies, with grated cheese (use whatever kind you'd like, from Parmesan to cheddar), and sprinkle over the casserole before baking.

Photo: Lynn Andriani

The Crunchy, Cinnamon-y Pie Crust
The base of a cheesecake, pudding pie or ice-cream pie can be made from graham crackers, so swapping in the mini version, using Cinnamon Toast Crunch, for instance, isn't an enormous leap—yet it yields supercrispy (and cinnamon-flecked) results. Combine 2 cups of crushed cereal (you'll probably need to start with about 4 cups) with 3 tablespoons of melted, unsalted butter and press into a pie dish; chill, then proceed with your filling recipe.
Chicken salad

Photo: Thinkstock

The Chicken Salad with Better-for-You Croutons
This lunchtime standby doesn't have to be a slacker in the nutrition department: Stir in a small handful of bran cereal—we prefer the stick-shaped kind, such as All-Bran, over the flakes or pellets—and use yogurt or cottage cheese to help hold everything together. In a flash, you've got yourself a healthy and incredibly tasty meal.

Photo: Thinkstock

The Cookies with a Surprise
Cereal in cookies is nothing new (hello, oatmeal raisin), and pastry chefs like Momofuku Milk Bar's Christina Tosi are doing all kinds of crazy-popular things with cornflakes in baked goods. Here's one new twist to try: Add a cup of cornflakes to sugar cookie dough (the results will be extra-crispy). Or for a salty-sweet treat, stir a half-cup each of potato chips and Cocoa Puffs into chocolate chip cookie dough for a full-on flavor explosion.
Bran cereal muffin

Photo: Lynn Andriani

Muffins That Make Brilliant Use of Soggy Cereal
You know how when you let a bowl of bran flakes sit for a few minutes, they tend to soak up so much milk that they practically become one with the liquid? That mush is actually the makings of a moist and delicious muffin that also delivers a healthy dose of fiber. Recipes abound, some incorporating honey, and others spiking the batter with buttermilk.

Photo: Betty Crocker

S'mores Without a Campfire
A pretzel rod is the perfect delivery system for a s'more you can make anywhere: Just thread a few large marshmallows onto a stick, dip in melted chocolate and coat with crushed Golden Grahams cereal (put them in a bag and whack it with the bottom of a pan, or blitz them quickly in a food processor). You'll want to let these treats set before eating, but the irresistible combo of toasty grahams, chocolate and fluffy marshmallows will be well worth it, we swear.
Snack bar

Photo: Tina Rupp

The Any Time of Day Snack Bar
These supersimple bars contain just cereal, peanut butter, peanuts and chocolate—and will fulfill any cravings you might have for salty or sweet (or, um, both). They're tailor-made for bake sales, potlucks, lunchboxes or even breakfast (hey, they contain cereal).

Get the recipe: Good Morning Sunshine Bars

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