Tag Archives: snack mix

Christmas Gifting – The Original Chex Party Mix

12 Nov

I love to bake for the holidays – there are few things better than giving a homemade gift, to me it really shows you care, plus – it’s delicious! I have made Snickerdoodle Pinwheels, Cutouts, Peanut Butter Balls, and plenty of other recipes for Christmas gifting. In fact, I am so serious about my Christmas baking, I usually take a whole day off so I can have time to focus and get it done since the holidays can be such a crazy time!

This year, I decided to change it up a bit. Still giving homemade gifts, but going the “treat” route instead of the traditional “cookie” route. Nothing against the cookie of course – I love it in ALL its forms, but I just wanted to try something different this year. So I have decided that the following items are on this year’s gifting “menu”:

Crock Pot “Crack”
Saltine Toffee
Rolo Pretzel Treats
-Chex Mix – the Original Version

Of course, I had to test out the Chex Mix before giving it out as gifts, and I am happy to report it went well!

Chex Mix
Ingredients
3 cups Corn Chex cereal
3 cups Rice Chex cereal
3 cups Wheat Chex cereal
1 cup mixed nuts
1 cup bite-size pretzels
1 cup garlic-flavor bite-size bagel chips or regular-size bagel chips, broken into 1-inch pieces
6 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Directions
-In large bowl, mix cereals, nuts, pretzels and bagel chips; set aside.
-In small microwavable bowl, microwave butter uncovered on High about 40 seconds or until melted. Stir in seasonings. Pour over cereal mixture; stir until evenly coated.
-Spread mixture out onto two cookie trays lined with silicone pads or parchment paper
-Bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes
-Spread on paper towels to cool. Store in airtight container.

Ingredients are assembled and ready for action!

Looks good enough to eat as is, doesn’t it?

Butter and spices – smelling amazing

Waiting for it to cool – patience wearing thin…

Close up of the goods

So – this was easy to throw together and toss in the oven, and it made the house smell AMAZING while it baked

Once it cooled, we all deemed it worthy of gifting, so I will be making more batches in the coming weeks. The good thing about it was all the stuff I bought for the first batch will make at least 1 more batch (the cereal, nuts, etc), so it’s basically like getting two for the price of one!

Now – the official Chex website directs you to make this in the microwave, but I was not into that idea, so I looked around online and saw some recipes with the baking directions, and did that instead. I am all about shortcuts, but for this I really wanted the crispness that comes with using the oven. Besides, when the first Chex Mix recipe was introduced back in 1952, the instructions stated to bake it in the oven – and I say, if it was good enough in the 50’s, it’s good enough for now!

Mixin’ It Up – Snack Mix Trials (And A Miss)

17 Jan

After doing my annual Christmas Cookie Baking this year, I started to think – what if next year I tried something DIFFERENT? And while I of course LOVE baking, I don’t love spending a whole day or multiple days doing it, switching cookie racks every 5 minutes for hours and scooping out a million cookies onto cookie sheets….I want to bake because I LOVE it – not because it is what I always do or have to do at Christmas – so I decided that this year – I want to mix it up. Luckily, I have all year to try out new recipes, and after making this amazing Crock Pot Christmas “Crack” this year, I knew that would be on my “must make” list this upcoming year, as would a few batches of the always amazing Saltine Toffee.

But I also wanted to do something a bit more on the “savory” side, as there are SO MANY sweets at Christmas time that even I get tired of it all sometimes (ME – a sugar FANATIC!). So I decided to make my family the guinea pigs (as they usually are) for this Cheesy Ranch Snack Mix:

Cheesy Ranch Snack Mix
(Recipe courtesy of Plain Chicken)

INGREDIENTS:
8 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp Worceshire sauce
1 packet Ranch dressing mix
4 cups Rice Chex
4 cups Corn Chex
3 cups Cheez Its
2 cups small pretzels
1 (12.5 oz) can redskin peanuts

INSTRUCTIONS:
-Preheat oven to 250ºF.
-In a large bowl (the biggest you have), mix together all ingredients. Place mix on 2 large baking sheets.
-Bake 1 hour – stirring every 15 minutes. Allow to cool and transfer to an airtight container.

Ok – so – this recipe made a LOT of snack mix. And it smelled SO GOOD while it was baking – just – made my mouth water! The finished product, however – was just nothing to write home about. My family and I found it to be too salty, and too “Worceshire-y”

BUT – I felt that something good could possibly come of this. So – I made it again, but with a few changes:
-Used UNSALTED butter
-Instead of Worceshire – I used Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, about 1 tsp
-I used Wal-Mart brand ranch dip mix this time (instead of the Aldi one I used the first time – not sure if this made any difference at all, but wanted to note it anyway!)

The second batch turned out a LOT better – less salty, and the seasonings were more in balance. I think this one will join the others as a winner for Christmas baking/gifting – as who doesn’t love a nice snack mix alongside their cookies? I know I do!

Can A Cake Become A Chex Mix? Yes – It Surely Can

20 Jan

So, Pinterest is great, isn’t it? A place to get ideas for everything from weddings and showers to parties, fashion, and my personal favorite – RECIPES! Any recipe you can ever imagine is on there, and I have made some really great things off of recipes I have “pinned”

My husband and best friend and I have a shared board where we can all pin funny stuff – but the REAL purpose of this particular board could definitely be summed up as “This recipe looks good – Catie needs to make it for us” – which is where the idea for the Better Than Sex Chex Mix came from
It’s basically a Better than sex cake in snack mix form. What is a better than sex cake, you might be wondering? Well, it’s chocolate cake infused with fudge and caramel, and topped with whipped cream and toffee bits – and IT. IS. AWESOME. It’s moist and sweet and delicious – and while I don’t know if it’s quite as amazing as the name states, I will concede that it is one of the best cakes out there
So obviously when it came to this Chex Mix, I knew I was a goner – so I immediately sent my husband to the store and got ready to mix it up

Better than Sex Chex Mix
Ingredients
8 cups Chocolate Chex® cereal
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
6 tablespoons butter or margarine
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, MINI size
1 cup MINIATURE marshmallows
1/2 cup caramel bits (found by the chocolate chips in the baking aisle — or chop up regular caramels)
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1/2 cup MILK chocolate baking chips (or more if you’re a huge chocolate fan)
1/2 cup vanilla (white) chocolate baking chips
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

image_6

Directions
• Into large microwavable bowl, measure cereal; set aside. Line cookie sheet with waxed paper or foil.
• In 2-cup microwavable measuring cup, microwave brown sugar, butter and corn syrup uncovered on High 1 to 2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute, until melted and smooth. Stir in baking soda until dissolved. Pour caramel mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated. Microwave on High 3 minutes, stirring every minute. Spread on cookie sheet. Cool 10 minutes. Break into bite-sized pieces.
• Make sure Chex mixture is cool to the touch (so candy doesn’t melt.) Evenly sprinkle mini peanut butter cups candy and miniature marshmallows over Chex mixture.
• In small microwavable bowl, microwave caramel baking bits and cream uncovered on High about 1 minute or until chips can be stirred smooth. Use a spoon or fork to drizzle over snack. Microwave the milk chocolate baking chips next, starting with 20-seconds and stirring, then at 20 second intervals until the mixture is completely smooth (microwave temps vary, so watch the chocolate and stir frequently until it’s of drizzling consistency). Drizzle over the snack mixture. Then microwave the vanilla (white) baking chips in 20-second intervals, stirring until smooth, and drizzle that over the snack mixture. (Note: The vanilla and milk chocolate chips should not need cream added.) Quickly sprinkle coarse salt over all while candy drizzles are still wet.
• Refrigerate until set. Break apart and store in tightly covered container. Perfect for gift giving!

The only changes I made to this recipe were that I used mini rolos instead of peanut butter cups (I happened to have them on hand), and I skipped the caramel chips altogether – they didn’t have them at the store and I didn’t feel like unwrapping and chopping up regular caramels – luckily the end result did not suffer from these changes!)

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Now I realize this isn’t exactly “baking”, as it only uses the microwave, but it DEFINITELY still counts as dessert (considering how much sugar is in it…)

I love the textures on this, the crunch of the chex, the softness of the rolos, and the slight salt taste you get every so often is a great balance of flavor too – I would definitely make this again, and it would be a great thing to bring to a party since it can really be an appetizer or a dessert!