Get ready for your newest favorite snack!!
This snack mix is a caramel-covered salty-sweet texture party and maybe one of the few things in this world I will choose over Halloween candy.
Sure, it’s just snack mix, but it is a revolutionized snack mix featuring the crunchiest, caramel-covered bites of cereal that takes snack mix to an entirely new level.
I have offered up this snack to several rounds of company now and I love watching their expressions of surprise.
It really does look very similar to the classic mix, which, by the way, needs no improving. But, the modifications make themselves apparent in the first bite, adding a toffee-like vibe that makes this snack even more addicting.
The fact that this mix can be made well in advance only increases my affections for it.
I am picturing multiple, overflowing bowls set around the house pre-Thanksgiving dinner to calm raging appetites, and festive cellophane bags filled with this happy alternative to cookies for neighbors.
That’s what I picture as I reach in for yet another handful.
This recipe does contain a few more steps than the original snack mix, but with a bit of organization, it all comes together relatively simply.
And those caramel-covered bites make it all so worth it.
Sweet & Salty Caramel Chex Mix
makes 8-10 servings (one very big bowl)
4 1/2 cups Corn Chex cereal
4 1/2 cups Rice Chex cereal
1 cup mini pretzels, divided use
1 cup mixed nuts
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided use
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided use
1 heaping tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and coat with nonstick spray.
Select two large mixing bowls. In one bowl, mix together Corn Chex cereal and 1/2 cup of the pretzels. In the second bowl, combine Rice Chex cereal, remaining pretzels, and mixed nuts.
Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a small bowl. Whisk in 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, and onion powder. Drizzle this mixture over the Rice Chex mixture and use a spatula to toss so that everything is evenly coated.
Spread the Rice Chex mixture out onto one of the prepared sheet pans and place in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes, then stir and gently toss for even toasting. Repeat this 3 more times for a total of one hour baking time.
As soon as you have placed the mixture into the oven, begin the caramel.
Cook’s Note: The savory mixture needs to bake for one hour, but the caramel mix only requires 45 minutes of baking time. So, if timed correctly, both mixtures can finish at the same time. Just be sure to have all of your ingredients out and measured before you begin assembly. And, if your oven can only fit one sheet pan on each rack, feel free to bake one on the bottom rack - it will not make a difference!
In a medium saucepan, combine brown sugar, corn syrup, 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Set over medium heat and stir until the butter has melted. Allow the caramel to come to a boil, reduce heat slightly, and boil steadily for five minutes.
Remove from heat and quickly whisk in baking soda and vanilla extract. Be careful as the mixture will bubble and steam!
Pour the caramel over the Corn Chex mixture and toss to coat. Coat a spatula with a bit of nonstick spray and use this to help you spread the mixture over the surface of your second baking sheet.
Place the pan in the oven, below or beside the first pan, and bake for three 15-minute cycles, stirring and tossing after each to ensure even cooking.
With a bit of luck, both pans should be ready at the same time. As soon as the caramel mixture is is out of the oven, use a greased spatula to break up the cereal a bit so that the caramel does not set into one big block.
Allow both pans to cool completely, then pour the mixtures into a very large serving bowl and toss together.
If you are not using immediately, store in airtight zip-top bags for up to five days. Though there’s little chance of it lasting that long.