Perfect Party Mix (Chex Mix)

My kids have been begging for “salty and crunchy” snacks. For me, the perfect salty, crunchy snack is Party Mix. I make it with various cereals and add-ins. In my house cheese crackers are a must. The pretzels and nuts are optional, and if I want a really special treat I add Bugles. The cereals mixed with butter, Worcestershire sauce and spices, toasted in the oven is simply irresistible.

You can mix and match the cereals. I like to have a big variety, but the recipe is flexible. Perfect Party Mix freezes really well. Let the baked party mix cool completely and then put in a zip bag or airtight container. It will keep in the freezer for several months.

Perfect Party Mix

4 Cups Wheat Squares Cereal (like Chex)

4 Cups Toasted Oats Cereal (like Cheerios)

4 Cups Rice Square Cereal (like Chex)

4 Cups Corn Square Cereal (like Chex)

4 Cups Cheese Crackers (like Cheeze-its)

4 Cups Pretzels or Bugles

2 Cups Nuts, optional (I like dry roasted, unsalted peanuts)

1 Cup Unsalted Butter, melted

1/4 Cup Worcestershire Sauce

1 Tablespoon Hot Sauce (Like Frank’s. Use less if you are using a hot sauce like Tabasco.)

1 teaspoon Garlic Powder

1 teaspoon Onion Powder

1 teaspoon Celery Seed

1 teaspoon Paprika

1/2 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

2 teaspoons Coarse Sea Salt

2 Tablespoons Sesame Seeds (optional, but highly encouraged)

Directions

Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large roasting pan, add cereals, cheese crackers, pretzels or bugles, and optional nuts. (If you do not have a large roasting pan you can mix this in a bowl and transfer the mix to two rimmed baking sheets.)

In a bowl or measuring cup, mix melted butter, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, spices, salt, and sesame seeds. Mix well to combine and dissolve salt.

Pour butter mixture over cereal mixture and stir well to coat the cereal mixture.

Bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Stir the mixture every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Store Perfect Party Mix in an air-tight container or zip bag. It will keep for 1 week at room temperature or 2 months in the freezer.

 

 

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Puppy Chow

Puppy Chow

When my kids were little I would occasionally make this special treat. Recently, my 16 year old son has been making it for a late night snack. I wouldn’t call it health food, but it is a fun treat that hits all the best parts of a great snack. It is salty, sweet, and crunchy.

There is great debate about the proportions of chocolate, peanut butter, and cereal. Max likes it with lots of chocolate and a touch of peanut butter. His has lots of clumps of chocolate. I prefer it a little less sweet with a little more peanut butter. This recipe follows my preferences, but if you like lots of chocolate, add the full 12 oz bag of chocolate chips.

I have made this recipe with corn and rice square cereal (like chex) and have found I prefer the flavor of the rice over the flavor of the corn. The corn has a slightly toasted taste that isn’t bad, but the rice is more neutral in flavor allowing the peanut butter and chocolate to shine.

Puppy Chow

1 1/2 Cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

1 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter

1 12oz Box Rice Square Cereal (Like Chex)

2 Cups Powdered Sugar

Directions

Melt the chocolate chips in a large microwave-safe bowl by heating on high for 1 minute and stir. Continue to heat in 30 second intervals stirring every 30 seconds until the chocolate is melted. Add the peanut butter and microwave another 30 seconds. Stir well. If the peanut butter does not easily mix with the chocolate, microwave another 30 seconds and stir well to combine.

Add the rice cereal and stir well. It will take a minute or two of stirring well to completely coat the cereal in the chocolate and peanut butter. Once the cereal is completely coated, add the powdered sugar and stir well. Again, it will take a few minutes to coat all the pieces in the powdered sugar.

Serve.

This will keep for several weeks in an air-tight container. It also freezes well. I like to eat it cold.