Time is of the essence these days, and while food blogging is my passion, my mind craves to be fed too. Having been invited to attend The Disney’s Social Media Moms – On The Road Tour – was just what I needed to kick my summer in to gear. The last few years I haven’t attended many conferences. Whenever I could find time, beyond my everyday living, I would escape to this blog, which left little if no time to attend events. This year I’ve decided that things are at a place where I can finally take some personal time to reach back out to the blogging world I adore and engage in new ways with brands and bloggers. And just like magic, in late June, Disney brought their show to Berkley, California and made my dream come true.
What I found compelling was that Disney really engaged with its bloggers in a way that most companies overlook. They achieved this by providing a full line-up of informative and inspirational Disney and non-Disney speakers to educate on their offerings and give something back to the bloggers (see end of post for key take-aways). Sure there were wonderful give-aways from sponsors and Disney swag, but what they imparted on their attendees left everyone with a favorable impression of the Disney brand beyond the physical goods and treats.
You may be wondering how this relates to the recipe I am about to share with you. Well, one of the treats we had waiting for us was an adorable and delicious Mickey shaped Krispie Treat (with yummy chocolate dipped ears). Hence the idea for Chocolate Malted Krispie Treats. No need to panic, eating this dessert will not put you into a deep sleep until awakened by Prince Charming, it will not evoke an evil step-mother and it certainly does not require you to spend any of your hard earned pixie dust to put a smile on the faces of those who consume them. Here is what is required to enjoy this delicious Disney inspired creation.
Magical Disney Chocolate Malted Krispie Treats
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
6 cups Rice Krispie cereal
10.5 oz mini marshmallows (if using 10 oz bag, reduce to 5-1/2 cups Rice Krispie cereal)
2/3 cup milk chocolate malted balls, rough chopped
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Coat an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray. Fold a 16-inch length of heavy duty foil to 7-1/2 inches wide and place it across the pan bottom and up the sides of the baking dish so that the foil hangs over. This will be important later to remove the bars from the pan. Coat the foil with cooking spray.
Add butter into a large pot, and melt on low, stirring frequently to ensure it does not burn. Add cocoa until well combined and continue to stir. Then add in marshmallows and stir until melted and well combined with cocoa mixture. Lastly add in Rice Krispie cereal, stirring to coat. Remove from heat and quickly mix in the malted balls and transfer mixture into baking dish. If mixture is too sticky, place a small plastic bag over one hand and pat down mixture. Lastly sprinkle chocolate chips on top and allow to melt into the treats.
Cool a minimum of 45 minutes as chocolate chips will appear to keep their form but will be melted and soft if touched. Using foil overhangs, pull bar from pan. Cut into 16 squares and serve.
Biggest learnings from the day:
– If you want to connect real time with Disneyland or California Adventure on Twitter you can send a message to @DisneylandToday or @DCAToday (I tried it out and it works in a flash). Another great resource to keep on hand for the latest happenings: DisneyParksBlog.com
– Maria Bailey, founder of BSM Media and Mom Talk Radio and the brains behind the whole Disney Social Media Moms idea, was amazing to speak with. I’ve followed her on Twitter for years, but speaking with her on a personal level about being a working professional and a mom left me with a great deal of respect for her and all that she has accomplished personally and professionally. She knows how important it is to help others and give back. She kicked off her panel of mom-preneurs from the Huggies MomInspired grant program to give advice on how to take a business to the next level. It was exciting to hear from Romy Taormina (founder of Psi Bands), Alma Moussa (founder of Babeee Covee) and Erin Kelly (founder of Hulabye). Great to know that dreams can become reality. Set a plan and stay on course.
– Michele Himmelberg from the Disneyland Resort, brought the Social Media Mom’s attendees up to speed on all the latest happenings at the parks, including the new Fantasy Faire, Mickey and the Magical Map show, and Cars Land.
– Mindee Doney, the inventor of Boogie Wipes, shared how she started her own company and honestly discussed mistakes made along the way. She also talked about keeping the faith. No matter how discouraging things seem – life will go on. She encouraged everyone to cherish the highs and be in the lows. (This struck a cord with me).
– Mindee also shared her family vacation plan to keep kids from arguing during a road trip by scheduling each child to pick out something important each day that the family will do or that makes that child feel special. So for example on Monday, one child gets to select his/her spot at the table for a meal; Tuesday, select the family movie; Wednesday, a spot in the car; and Thursday the restaurant they go to for lunch; Friday, the game played at night, etc. Great idea to keep arguing to a minimum.