Small Town Christmas

Small Town Christmas

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Good As Gold Snack Mix

The luck of the Irish will follow you all of your days with this yummy snack mix. Of course, so will an expanded waistline.

That's why I'm taking it to church on St. Patrick's Day for our afternoon bingo party to raise money for missions and ministries. That way, Randy and I don't eat it all by ourselves. (It's hiding out in the freezer until then. Out of sight, out of mind? Well, it's worth a try!)

I found the original recipe on the Favorite Family Recipes blog, but I added a bit o' the green for a St. Patty's Day flair. The original recipe didn't have M&Ms, but I thought the colorful bits added the colors of the rainbow. I had thought about picking all the green M&Ms out of a bag of leftover Christmas M&Ms and tossing them into the mix, but rainbow colors (and my time!) won out in the end.

This snack mix can be easily adapted for other holidays and occasions:
  • For this St. Patrick's Day mix, I purchased green candy melts. (The original recipe called for white chocolate bits.) You can change this for Easter by using pastel candy melts and Easter M & Ms. It's easily adaptable to any holiday by using colored candy melts and seasonal M & Ms. You can also use white almond bark or candy melts and add food coloring, but it has to be in oil, powder or paste form, not water-based or you will have a clump of unusable almond bark.
  • The original recipe called for using mini Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Randy isn't a peanut butter fan (I know! I can't believe it either), and I thought the Rolos paired well with the caramel drizzle anyway. You could add any flavor of the mini candies you'd prefer - like Butterfingers, etc. These miniature versions of the original treats come in an 8-ounce bag, all unwrapped and ready to use. Gotta love the convenience!
  • You could add a salty component without adding salt by tossing some mixed nuts into the mix before adding the chocolate and caramel drizzles.
  • For March Madness TV viewing, choose a candy melt color in honor of your favorite team and add colored M&Ms to match. (For us, it's K-State purple and white, of course, as we cheer the 'Cats on during the Big 12 tournament and beyond.  
No matter the occasion, the combination of crunchy cereal, candies and melted "goo" will have you over the moon - or, in this case, over the rainbow. Enjoy!

Good As Gold Snack Mix
Adapted from
8 cups Chocolate Chex cereal
3/4 cup brown sugar
6 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. light corn syrup
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 8-oz. pkg. Rolos minis
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup M&Ms
1/2 cup caramel bits
1 tbsp. heavy cream
1/2 cup chocolate chips (milk or semi-sweet - your preference)
1/2 cup white chocolate baking chips (OR colored candy melts to suit the holiday)
1 tsp. coarse salt (opt.)

Into a large microwave-safe bowl, measure cereal. Set aside. Line cookie sheets with waxed paper.

In 2-cup microwave-safe measuring cup, combine butter, brown sugar and corn syrup. Microwave on High for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute, until melted and smooth. Stir in baking soda until dissolved. Pour caramel mixture over the cereal, stirring until evenly coated, but taking care not to break up the cereal any more than necessary. Microwave on High 3 minutes, stirring every minute. Spread on cookie sheets. Cool 10 minutes. Break into bite-sized pieces.

Make sure cereal mixture is cool to the touch. Evenly sprinkle mini Rolos, M&Ms and miniature marshmallows over the cereal mixture.

In small microwave-safe bowl, microwave caramel bits and cream, uncovered, for about 1 minute or until the mixture can be stirred smooth. Use a spoon or fork to drizzle over snack mix. Microwave the chocolate chips next, starting with 30-second intervals and stirring, making sure not to burn. Continue until chocolate is of spreading consistency. Drizzle over snack mix. Then microwave white chocolate chips or choose colored candy melts for a particular holiday or occasion. Again, microwave at 30-second intervals, stirring to prevent burning. Drizzle over the snack mix.

Sprinkle coarse salt over all while the drizzles are still wet. (This step can be left out or you could add a handful of salted mixed nuts for a salty element).

Refrigerate until set. Break apart and store in tightly-covered container.

***
Today, I'm again linking to Ashley's What's In Your Kitchen Wednesday feature. The Wichita blogger featured my Meatball Minestrone Soup on her site today. Thanks, Ashley! Be sure and visit her "kitchen" to find out what's cooking this week. 

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