We tried two childhood favorites to find out.
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It doesn't matter how old you are — you never grow out of a love for cereal. The nostalgia tied to rainbow-shaped marshmallows or cocoa puff-flavored milk never really goes away. So, I was beyond excited to try recreating two of my childhood favorites from scratch, and to my surprise, it ended up being way easier than I expected. Plus, a lot of fun.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch (or CTC for the real fans) was my go-to from elementary school until college, so I knew this copycat recipe from Half-Baked Harvest had big shoes to fill. The 7-ingredient recipe comes together quickly in a food processor (similar to a pie crust dough) and is a cinch to shape with just a rolling pin and pizza cutter. 

The result is incredibly flaky, light, and crisp cinnamon squares that look almost identical to my store-bought favorite. I wish I had coated both sides with the cinnamon-sugar topping, but the cereal still creates the familiar cinnamon-sugary milk you love to sip on after a finished bowl. The freshly-baked batch doesn't hold up to milk as well as store-bought does, but I'll still keep these on hand for easy snacking. Plus, the author's suggestion of using it as an ice cream topper has me dreaming. 

Next up, a real morning indulgence: copycat Cookie Crisp cereal. This recipe from Practically Homemade feels like a regular batch of cookie dough in every sense until you move it to a piping bag. Pro tip: chop up the mini chocolate chips to an even finer shape to make sure they won't clog up the tip of your bag. 

Creating dime-sized cereal bites takes a little extra effort, but it makes all the difference in achieving the perfect cookie-crisp look. (Tip: hand the job off to your little ones and they'll be all over it.) These teeny-tiny chocolate chip cookies are impressively light and unbelievably cute. The longer they have to sit out and crisp up, the better they'll hold up in your cereal bowl, but I can guarantee the milk-and-cookies combo in your spoon will never disappoint. My favorite tip: Store in mason jars and give away as an adorable hostess or holiday gift.

For a first time cereal baker, I'm very pleased with the recipe results. It feels so rewarding to see these iconic treats come out of my very own kitchen. As far as flavor goes, they don't exactly mimic the boxed brands, but taste fresher and more crispy than crunchy. Keep in mind, the homemade versions don't have the preservatives that help them last as long in milk. However, if you're like me and scarf down your cereal quickly, that will never be an issue. 

Another bonus: these scratch-made cereals are totally customizable to you and your families flavor preferences and/or allergy needs. Sub in margarine or gluten-free flour to make the tastiest allergy-friendly snack for your crew. Or, flavor your mini cookies with cinnamon instead of chocolate for a snickerdoodle cookie crisp! Homemade cereal is such a fun project to make with kids and will bring back all the best childhood memories.