Advent Day 1: Christmas Coal

Have you ever told your children or honey that they were getting coal in their stocking because they had been naughty all year? Oh, I have. This year, for sure, they will be getting coal. This is a gag gift that will leave no one gagging. Most coal candies I have seen are hard crack sugar candies which I am not ready to have my children make- too dangerously hot, but these little black nuggets of rice cereal treats are fun for all ages to make, give, receive, and eat.

We celebrate St. Nicholas Day on December 6th. The children place their shoes and socks by the fire in hopes of receiving goodies such as clementines, gold coins, a Christmas ornament, and small toy. They hope the Krampus*, an ugly, black little devil with a long, red tongue, a pair of horns, and a long tail, does not come with coal for their stocking or worse yet, a switch for being naughty little boys and girl. It has not happened yet…wink.

Christmas Coal
1/4 cup butter
10.5 ounce bag mini marshmallows
1/8-1 tsp. black icing color**
4 cups rice cereal

In a large pot melt butter and add marshmallows. Stir until melted, add black color and mix in well. Add rice cereal and stir until blended. Drop by small spoonfuls onto parchment paper. Be sure they are in odd shapes. Cool. Place 3 in a small cellophane bag and tie with ribbon. **Be sure you are using Wilton’s Black Icing Color (not black icing/gel in the tube)- click the link above to see that it is the gel form in a tiny canister. It may also say concentrated paste. This can be found in the cake decorating section of Michael’s.

Include a tag saying…

“I heard you have been naughty not nice,
And Santa even checked his list twice.
So all the way from the cold North Pole
all you’re getting is a bag of coal.”

Poem from

While developing this recipe, I first thought to use cocoa crispies thinking the brown rice cereal would work better. Dark blackish-brown lumps are never good. Can you say “reindeer patty?” Smirk.

* Krampus– from “The Story of the Trapp Family Singers” by Maria Augusta Trapp. Page 42.

More Fun With Rice Treats- How to Host a Cookie Decorating Party Without the Fuss.

Come back tomorrow for Day 2!


  1. Rindy R
    Posted December 1, 2010 at 7:57 AM | Permalink

    Robin – there you go again – leaving me saying "why didn't I think of that?" This is definitely going in the stockings this year! So Creative!!

  2. Sheila
    Posted December 1, 2010 at 10:01 AM | Permalink

    I haven't bought an Advent calender yet, so maybe we will just make BRK ours and make your little treats and things each day!

  3. Greg and Donna
    Posted December 1, 2010 at 10:03 AM | Permalink

    Really cute idea! And its something they can eat…does it turn their teeth black? Just wondering!

  4. Robin Sue
    Posted December 1, 2010 at 1:23 PM | Permalink

    Donna- it did a little! But it goes away! Enjoy!!

  5. Sean Aikman
    Posted December 1, 2010 at 2:01 PM | Permalink

    Ver interesting, I never would have thought of this. Great posts!

  6. Karen
    Posted December 1, 2010 at 2:08 PM | Permalink

    These are so cute! When I was a kid, I remember hearing once or twice that I was going to get coal in my stocking 😉

  7. Stay-At-Home-Chef
    Posted December 1, 2010 at 3:17 PM | Permalink

    Cute idea – might just have to give this a try 😉

  8. Ingrid
    Posted December 1, 2010 at 3:52 PM | Permalink

    Cool! I'm gonna make some for babygirl to take along to school.

    btw, if I knew about Krampus growing up I'd have had nightmares!

  9. FOODalogue
    Posted December 1, 2010 at 5:33 PM | Permalink

    You're terrific — I love all your traditions and the wonderful things you do for your family.

  10. Big Dude
    Posted December 1, 2010 at 6:18 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. You'd asked about the Polish pottery – a lot of it came from the factory in Poland thanks to our daughter-in-law who was living in Germany (our son is military). They took buses full of buyers to private sales at the factory and she bought a lot of it for us then brought it when they moved back to the states. Some then came from Tuesday Morning and other US places. You can't believe the price difference when you cut out the shipping and 10 middlemen.

    Posted December 1, 2010 at 8:17 PM | Permalink

    Ha – love it Robin! It really does look like coal! 😀

  12. Coconut
    Posted December 2, 2010 at 12:51 AM | Permalink

    That is too hilarious, and very clever.

    I love it, Krampus and all.

    Unfortunately for me, being on a gluten-free diet, I can't eat the rice cereal used here (if it contains malt, as many do), but I wouldn't mind making this for friends who don't have that dietary restriction.

    Plus, there are definitely some who deserve a little bit of coal this year. Hee hee.

    • cschlegel
      Posted December 25, 2012 at 12:33 AM | Permalink

      Made this exactly as it said and my marshmallow/butter mixture turned purple, not black. And I used the Wilton’s black icing color. Very disappointed.

    • Robin Sue
      Posted December 26, 2012 at 8:47 PM | Permalink

      Add more coloring. Anywhere from 1/4 tsp to 2 tsp. depending on how dark you like it.

  13. Natasha @ Saved by the Egg Timer
    Posted December 2, 2010 at 10:00 AM | Permalink

    Ohhh funny! Now I have something to gove my brother as a joke 🙂 Hahahha…and that one annoying co-worker or boss! lol!

  14. tamilyn
    Posted December 2, 2010 at 5:41 PM | Permalink


  15. oneordinaryday
    Posted December 2, 2010 at 7:35 PM | Permalink

    You're a genius! This is so much better than the coal candy I've seen. My first thought was that it would turn the kids' teeth black too, but it'd be totally worth it.

  16. grace
    Posted December 3, 2010 at 6:34 AM | Permalink

    how clever! i was always afraid of getting coal in my stocking as a kid, but had i known it could be something like this, i would've been hell on wheels. 🙂

  17. Mimi
    Posted December 6, 2010 at 12:02 PM | Permalink

    We had a lump of coal that was passed around in our family at Christmas time to the grumpiest person. This would have been so much better, but of course everyone would want it so it would have to go to the most helpful person.

  18. Dan
    Posted December 13, 2010 at 11:12 AM | Permalink

    Great idea!

    Posted December 10, 2011 at 5:22 PM | Permalink

    Tried this recipe today. Evidentially there is a mistake in the recipe. The black icing called for did not color the rice krispies black. I used a whole tube of icing and it still wasn't enough. Maybe black food coloring was needed instead of black icing. The lumps of coal are gray not black. Very disappointing.

  20. Robin Sue
    Posted December 10, 2011 at 11:50 PM | Permalink– Deby this is black icing color from Wilton. If you click on the link in blue "black icing color" in the list of ingredients, it will take you to what the product looks like- Wilton Black Icing Color in paste form, not a tube-I got mine at Michael's. It takes very little of this product to color your foods. I hope you give this a try again, it is really fun to see every ones reaction.

  21. Anonymous
    Posted December 20, 2011 at 12:30 AM | Permalink

    I ran across black food coloring tonight and decided to try it with this receipe. It turned out PERFECT, no color left on your hands or tounge.

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 18, 2012 at 6:39 PM | Permalink

      Do you remember what food coloring did you use?

    • Robin Sue
      Posted December 18, 2012 at 6:52 PM | Permalink

      The link to the wilton’s black is in the post.

  22. urban flowerpot
    Posted December 21, 2011 at 2:05 PM | Permalink

    This is cute – but it has some pitfalls. I made a trial run for a potluck I'm going to. It takes quite a bit of the color to turn your coal black – your hands and anything else it touches goes black, too (yes, I used the right brand but I'm an amateur!). Teeth, lips, so gross. My husband also discovered it then dyes your insides black. That's all I'll say, except…

    Despite all of the above I have made a second batch and am leaving it out at the potluck. If they reach for coal they probably deserve it 😉

  23. Robin Sue
    Posted December 21, 2011 at 8:30 PM | Permalink

    urban flowerpot- we just had black teeth, kinda like how blue Jolly Ranchers turn your tongue blue. All in good fun, and only once a year;-)

  24. Jamie H
    Posted December 22, 2011 at 3:45 PM | Permalink

    Love, love, love this!! I know it's a bit older of a post but would you mind linking this up to Fun Stuff Fridays on Toys In The Dryer? I think my readers would love this too!
    Found you via a Design Dazzle linky 🙂

  25. Jeanette Brunet
    Posted September 17, 2012 at 5:34 PM | Permalink

    Instead of rice cereal, crush oreo cookies and mix in the melted butter and marshmallows.

    • Jennifer
      Posted December 20, 2012 at 10:23 AM | Permalink

      I’d like to know how the oreo cookie idea worked out. Can you share the recipe? I don’t want to experiment with coloring — we’re in the middle of a snowstorm!

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