Another Harry Potter Day (YAY!): Cockroach Clusters

Before I share a new recipe with you today, I would like to share my gratitude to all of the brave men and women who have served their country. On this day, many of us around the world are remembering, and showing gratitude for, our veterans. I am not only a military wife, I am a military daughter and granddaughter, a military cousin, sister, and, most recently, stepmother. The military life has brought me countless friends with beautiful families. Thank you to my family of service members. Thank you to my service friends. Thank you to all of the women and men who have served and are serving today, here, and around the world. Thank you to the our serve members’ families, too, who sacrifice for, and support, them.

And finally, always, thank you to my dear husband. I am proud of your work and dedication to your country, job, fellow service members, and your family. 

With love,

Guess what you guys? The last Harry Potter movie is released on DVD/BluRay today.

You didn’t know that?

How could you not know that?!



Actually, if you’re a fan, you knew. And if you’re not a fan…you’re forgiven. 😉

As always, I can’t let a good excuse to talk about Harry Potter pass me by, so…I made cockroach clusters.

Sounds yummy, eh?

Alright. Let’s clear a couple of things up, shall we?

#1. The movie being released today is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2. You may recall that I was extremely excited to go see this final film, this culmination of Jo Rowling’s hard work, this end of an era.

But then, you might have noticed that I never really talked about it again. Wanna know why?

Okay, well, if you don’t then skip ahead to #2.

I didn’t talk about this movie again because I … *gulp* … I … Ididn’tlikeit.


That was hard to say type.

There you have it. I know I’ll probably catch a lot of flack for this, but it’s the truth. I thought it was a beautiful film, brilliantly acted, and decently done for those who had never read the books. It was a good movie.


Wasn’t the point of splitting the final film into two movies to make it more thorough? Even the Hubster, who hasn’t read the final four books, said that the film felt rushed and pieced together.

The fact of the matter is, I’m such a book canon girl, that this movie was hard to take. I’ve always tried to remind myself that it’s really hard to make a book into a film, and some things just gotta go (like Peeves…let’s face it, he was non-vital…but I sure did miss him). This time, though…it was just too much.

One of the most emotional and moving moments in the books, involving the Weasley family, was neglected and glossed over. I felt robbed.

Dramatic of me? Yep. Do I care? Nope. It wasn’t right.

I know some of you will say I’m nuts, and that’s okay. If you read my blog regularly, you know what a huge, die hard fan I am, so you know how sad it really is for me to admit that I didn’t like the film.

**All of that said, they handled Snape’s storyline so perfectly, and so beautifully, and Alan Rickman was so phenomenal, it was almost, almost, enough to redeem their mistakes.**

There’s a #2 to todays’ post. It has nothing to do with the movie, and everything to do with the cockroach clusters.


#2. There are not real cockroaches in the clusters.

I’m sorry. I know you’re disappointed. No roaches.

Darn it.

Instead, you’re going to find candy. Candy, and marshmallows, and pretzel bits. Not to mention chocolate. And peanut butter.

I know it’s difficult, but you’re just going to have to make do with skipping the roaches.

Eight years ago, when I threw my first ever kid’s birthday party, it was Harry Potter themed (surprised?). I made lots of faux Potter treats that day, including cockroach clusters. Back then I simply made no bake chocolate peanut butter cookies. They looked the part, and they taste amazing, so I decided to stick with what works today.

The only difference between then and now, is that todays’ clusters are more cockroach-y.

I added marshmallows for gooeyness. I added pretzels for crunchiness. And I added mini Reese’s Pieces for…the heck of it.

Sounds good, huh? Talking about eating cockroaches and I’m telling about gooeyness and crunchiness.

Well, what can I say, I was going for authenticity of texture.

Little did I know that the Reese’s Pieces would provide that the best. After all, I just added them cause I like them, but they ended up adding this crispy texture (the candy shell), that sounded very much like what you imagine chewing on a cockroach would sound like.

It’s pretty disgusting if you think about it too much.

If you don’t then it’s just delicious.

Once the cookies are all mixed up, you just drop them by spoonfuls onto wax or parchment paper, or Silpat mats. And that’s it…mix ’em, drop ’em, wait ’em out. Once they’re dry, dig in. Or eat them while they’re still soft…cause that’s good, too.

Admittedly, they’re not pretty. But let’s face it, a real life cockroach cluster would not win any beauty pageants, so I think these are doing a good job.

I honestly wasn’t sure about the marshmallow when I added it, but it’s pretty danged delicious, so that was a good idea. 🙂

Need a last minute release party treat? Or just wanna whip something fast, and themed, up for the kids while they watch the latest HP release? These are the thing for you, then. Five minutes of prep and cook time, three minutes of dropping them on paper, an hour of waiting for them to set up. Easy as pie cockroach clusters. Enjoy!

P.S. Thank a veteran today, show your support. You don’t have to approve of war to support a hard working individual who deserves your gratitude.

Cockroach Clusters [Printable Version]
Makes about 2 1/2 to 3 dozen


1/2 cup (1 stick or 113 grams) unsalted butter or margarine
1 3/4 cups (350 grams) sugar
1/2 cup (125 ml) milk (soy or almond for vegan/dairy free)
1/4 cup (28 grams) cocoa powder
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups quick oats
3/4 cup mini marshmallows
1/2 cup mini Reese’s Pieces or other candy
1/2 cup pretzel pieces

In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the sugar, milk, and cocoa powder and stir to combine. Bring to a boil and cook for a minute to a minute and a half (less than this will result in soft, runny cookies; more will result in dry, crumbly cookies). Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the peanut butter and vanilla. Once the peanut butter is melted and combined, add the oats and mix well. Stir in the candy, pretzels, and marshmallows until evenly distributed. Once combined, drop tablespoonfuls onto waxed or parchment paper and allow to cool for at least an hour.

Recipe by Darla

Leave a comment


  1. says

    Darla these are perfect!! So gross but yummy looking at the same time.

    I loved the Harry Potter movie, but I DO know what you mean. I think sometimes when a book captures everything so well, it’s hard to translate on screen. So sad to see the series end 🙁

  2. Melissa E. says

    It’s okay! I remember after the sixth film my fellow Potter-heads and I stood out in the parking lot and were disappointed and worried that the next two films would be just as poorly translated. I ended up enjoying the last two films though and have really realized that the movies need to be enjoyed on their own because they are such a different vehicle.

    Anywho, these cookies look amazing! I wish I had some for breakfast right now.

  3. Ashley says

    1) I am a military wife too (Go Coast Guard!) and very much appreciate all the service that your family has given. And that my husband (and brother) give too.
    2) I was disappointed with a few things in the movie too. Particularly around the end. I felt that Voldemort’s end was anti-climactic and there was NO celebration afterward! What was that all about? And they basically skipped over Fred, which was an injustice. However, there were some truly moving scenes. When the teachers came out and started fortifying Hogwarts, I got so choked up.
    3) These look AMAZING. One of these days, when my kids are old enough (or not, because I don’t think I can wait that long) I’m going to throw a true Harry Potter party and make all of these delicious things you throw at me.
    4) Sorry I wrote you a novel. You don’t actually have to read it.

  4. says

    Mm these cockroach clusters look delicious!

    I totally agree with you about the movie. I didn’t like it at all, either. They hardly portrayed Fred’s death in the way they should have, and the whole fight between Voldemort and Harry really didn’t do much for the whole scope of the thing. In the book, it was almost more of a battle of wits than anything, but SO dramatic, and they really lost that with the whole chase/fight beforehand. And what was that with Cho Chang being in her Hogwarts robes even thought he graduated a year before Harry?!

    There were a few parts that I loved, the teachers getting the castle armed, Mrs. Weasley’s “NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH!” and such.

  5. says

    Hi! I just found your blog this morning and it’s safe to say you have a new reader…. I normally don’t comment on blogs but I felt the need this morning because I am a DIE HARD HP fan too and I was extremely disappointed with the last movies. In fact I’ve been disappointed with the movies since GOF. I understand that to adapt a book into a movie is a hard task but I feel like they left so much stuff out that they could have left in. I also agree that wasn’t the point of splitting the last book into two movies supposed to wrap stuff up and explain some things they left out?? I think it failed at that. I agree with other posters about glancing over Fred and was sad to see they glanced over the whole Lupin/Tonks storyline. The whole movie felt a little disjointed to me. It was a much more emotional ride in the books than the movie allowed.
    Anyways… I can’t wait to keep reading and trying your recipes!

  6. Linda says

    I agree about the movie. I thought it was good up until the end. I mean, Harry killed Voldemort in the book with the whole school surrounding him and Harry explained that Snape was good, and why Harry survived. In the movie he was killed alone, and when Harry came back in no one was really celebrating or hugging Harry. I thought that the movie was bad and I will forever be dissapointed. I’m a die hard Harry Potter fan and the whole experience of the movie was dissapointing.

  7. Kristi says

    I’m with you on the movie, sometimes they shouldn’t add things that aren’t in the book and put things that are in the book into the movie. I don’t know why they would change a scene thats so beautifully written in the book to something dissappointing in the movie. On a good note, I’m going to make your cookies this weekend.

  8. says

    I also love HP although I wouldn’t say I am a super die hard fan. Something I realized a few years ago was that a movie is a totally different art form than a book. We can’t expect it to be the same. So now when I watch a movie version of a book, I don’t watch it to compare it to a book but rather just watch it for its own enjoyment. And like you said, this film was beautifully filmed and well acted and captivating so I think it was well done, even if it didn’t follow the book exactly. (Although there were a few key points throughout the films that did drive me nuts because they missed some HUGE parts from the books!)

  9. Simone says

    Just wondering, what is the purpose of that super duper cute owl? I know you included it because it works with the Harry Potter theme, but it’s so adorable, I need to know what it’s for!!!

  10. Heather says

    Those look amazing! I can’t wait to try them out. I’m going to be making the Honeyduke Candy Floss cupcakes for tonight.

    “One of the most emotional and moving moments in the books, involving the Weasley family, was neglected and glossed over. I felt robbed.”
    I can’t agree with you more! I sobbed so hard in the book that first time I read, and the second, the third…
    I’m hoping there will be more of an in depth extend scene.

  11. says

    I love your utter devotion to the HP books. This is really weird to mention, but I was allergy tested recently and they said I was allergic to cockroaches. Yep, wasn’t too upset about that!

    The clusters really do look yummy!
    I love your little owl dude too. 🙂

  12. Rachel says

    I have not yet seen the last movie. But, even though I feel like all the movies have gotten progressively better, they have all fallen WAY short of doing the books any justice. My sister and I discuss this constantly. So I am sure when I see the last one (later today, most likely)- I will feel the same as you. Much like I was disappointed with how they left out the scene with Harry and Dudley in the last movie. That part in the book made me tear up a little- I thought it was very touching. Such a small thing. I DID like the movie version of Hedwig’s death better, though. It seemed more fitting that she would go out fighting for Harry.

  13. Jennifer says

    *iloveyou* Your HP geekiness is rival to my own. The only thing you need to say now is that you’re writing your own fanfic and editing for others. I am making these cockroach clusters TODAY and I may just eat the whole batch… thus totally negating the pound I was so excited to find out I just lost. A pound for cockroach clusters? Totally worth it.

    Another Indiana girl,

  14. Clarissa says

    I also had issues with the last movie, particularly the way they changed what happened with the elder wand. It did feel like they were just trying to get through the movie instead of having the story arc of previous movies. I do think Alan Rickman was fabulous in his role and loved Maggie Smith. Not my favorite, but I’ll still buy it to complete the set. 🙂
    P.S. I’m trying royal icing today to make turkeys. Thanks for the tips and tricks!

  15. says

    oh my goodness, I am so happy that I am not alone! I didn’t like the movie either, and I felt horrible telling people that! There was just so many amazing story lines missing that I had been looking forward to seeing on the big screen. At the same time, you are also completely right regarding Snape’s story, that was the one part that I thought was beautiful.
    I cant wait to make your newest Harry Potter treat! 🙂

  16. Hollie says

    I follow your blog because of your love for Harry Potter and your great cooking skills too of course. I am a huge Harry Potter fan so much so I even have a HP tattoo.. of course it helps that my initials are HP (maiden and married). I got the movie at Midnight the night it came out to watch it again. I have read all the books and seen all the movies more times than I can count and I have followed the series since it began. I feel that with the HP series that they have done a decent job with the movies. Personally I think that the since POA all of the books could have been 2 movies and even then at 4 hours they wouldn’t have been able to cover everything. The books are so long and JK Rowling did such a great job creating a world where each character has such an important role that those of us who know that role want to see it depicted. But even JKR herself has said that she always knew they would have to leave out things and she as the author of the books is happy with the movies. They will never been as dear to me as the books. I liked how the treated Snape and Neville but I do agree there could have been more about Fred. Also I think that the few deleted scenes they cut from the second part (just under 5 mins total) should have been left in. Over all I still loved the movies and they are some of my all time favorites! I can’t wait to try your latest Harry Potter creation. Keep them coming!!! HP never dies! 😉 LOL

  17. rachel says

    just made ’em and they are super yum, even ‘raw’ (after everything is mixed in – so tehnically they arnt gonna be less raw at any stage) the mix is amazing…i possibly have had a bit too much and may need to vomit in the near future..but it’ll be awesome coming up as well i reckon (sorry haha 🙂

  18. bttrflybabydoll says

    My kids will love these! My oldest will probably like them the best! Especially the name. Hehehe….

    Tell your husband and other family that I say thank you as well! I love that picture of your hubby! Such a good picture!

  19. Christy says

    These cookies sound great! I am also a HUGE Harry Potter fan and was at the store at 7am to buy the last movie on Friday! I really did like the movie, but I agree that the scene with the Weasleys should have been done a lot better. I LOVED Snape’s storyline though and cried when he showed Dumbledore his Petronus. My favorite part/most disappointing part was the very last scene where Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny have their own children at Platform 9 3/4 to go to Hogwarts. I was really looking forward to seeing that scene and it was so disappointing. Oh well, guess I’ll have to read it (again)!

  20. MustangErin says


    Long time reader, first time baker of one of your recipies. I just made them and they are cooling right now. I am excited to try them when they are ready.


  21. says

    Made these today with kids at work and they loved them! We had to modify the recipe a bit due to peanut allergies. Sunbutter is a great substitute as is M&M and Smarties for the Reese’s Pieces.

  22. says

    I’m going to have to make these! They look awesome! And gross! (which is a good thing!)

    Finally catching up after vacation… have to agree with you that part 2 was a bit lackluster, but that Alan Rickman was incredible. I’ve always enjoyed Snape, and his performance in this movie just tied it up with a bow for me!

  23. says

    Okay, so I’m making these to go in a zombie apocalypse themed care package I’m sending my husband (he’s stationed in Korea). They are PERFECT! However, the first batch I made came out more like fudge than cookies. Any suggestions as to where I might be going wrong?

    Love the Veteran’s Day stuff you added to this post, the Harry Potter stuff, and pretty much everything ever. XD

  24. Holly says

    I loved HP Deathly Hallows pt 2, until I read the books! I did it all backwards only because when the books first came out, I I couldn’t get into them, being very young at the time. And then I decided I better hold off to read them, until all the movies were done. After reading, I found the most disappointing thing was Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks. And of course the Weasley family. Ugh…. still love it though, just disappointed with what was left out :-/

    BTW, loved making the cupcakes, and they taste delicious!!

  25. Kelly says

    I just hosted a Harry Potter party last night – and made these cockroach clusters. They were a hit!! 🙂 What a great recipe!! I can’t wait to browse the rest of you blog. 🙂

  26. says

    I’ve been reading your blog for over a year now, but I somehow missed this post! I completely agree with everything you said about the seventh movie!! I know I should cut the movie makers some slack, but even the tiny little things they messed up on bug me a LOT. Like how harry said goodbye to Ron and Hermione when he was going to die. He was NOT supposed to do that. And he never told Nevil (forgive my spelling) to kill Nagini. And I think they made Harry’s final duel with voldemort a lot less dramatic and awesome than it could have been had it been the way the book did it. I just love that part, Harry pulls of the cloak and his friends are all shocked and then he’s like in your face voldy! and then its just gets even awesomer. ANyway, you can probably tell I could go on about movie defects for hours, so…

  27. Cloud says

    I just stumbled upon all your magnificent Harry Potter delicacies and then read this post.
    I’ve seen the last 3 HP movies just a few weeks ago (when you have small kids and the rest of the family lives far far away, you don’t get into the cinema so often – or at all) and was so disappointed.
    And with Linda and Maddie, who mentioned a few more important things that weren’t right.
    When watching the movies, I was like “But this should have been…” all the time. They left out some of my favorite ( and most moving) scenes. And sometimes it would have been so easy – for example the look around Lunas room with the friends-frames – just a tiny moment for a camera, but a big glimpse into Lunas soul.
    It is nice to see that there are more out there who inhaled the books and love them so much more than the movies!
    Anyway, I’m glad I found your recipies and will try a few! Cockroaches… hilarious!

  28. Camila says

    Me and my brother re-watched the movie just yesterday, and you are right! I mean, i REALLY like the film, but some things didn’t feel right, like SPOILER Fred’s death…I mean, when I read that part I had to close the book with tears in my eyes, and I was all like WHAT? (he’s still alive in my own little happy world), and the phantoms scene was too cold, and Duddly didn’t even say goodbye to Harry, and and, well, you get it. But yeah, I hear you haha