Friday, December 21, 2012


OK, I'm going to be one of those cooks today. Yes, I am that annoying cook who didn't measure. It's very unlike the very precise, perfectionist me. But I promise it will be OK.

At a discount store, I saw a snack mix that had rice squares and mini pretzels. Some of the pretzels were coated with white almond bark and some were left naked. Yes, naked.

It was packaged in snack-sized little bags, so I bought one. There really wasn't much to it. So I decided to make some for a few homemade gifts from the kitchen.

I purchased the micro-mini pretzels at Glenn's Bulk Foods. They are the perfect size for this mix. Of course, it seems everyone has rice squares in their arsenal at this time of year when party mix is prevalent. Likewise for the almond bark.

I simply melted a whole package of almond bark. (I use my microwave, taking care not to burn it. I usually melt it at 70 percent power for 1 minute at a time, stirring well after each microwave session.) Then I poured in a little more than half of the one-pound package of the mini pretzels and added rice cereal until I thought it was just about right. I wanted enough to give a nice coat to all the pretzels and cereal. This is not an exact science, people. After stirring well, I poured in a little more of the rice squares. Obviously, it's easier to add cereal than take it out.

I poured it out on waxed paper to set up. After it hardened, I broke it apart as much as I could without crunching cereal into bits and then stirred in the uncoated pretzels. Just for fun and color, I added an ingredient not present in the purchased mix - a bag of Pretzel M&Ms.

I packaged the mix in holiday bags and delivered the goods.

There are a couple of differences between the homemade snack mix and the purchased version:
  • The packaged snack mix was less "clumpy" than mine. From watching shows on the Food Network, I suppose they had a machine that shook the excess almond bark off the dry goods and gave it an even coating. Since I don't have one of those handy-dandy machines, the clumps don't bother me.
  • My version is less costly. I bought the tiny bag of snack mix for $1. A comparable amount of my homemade version would have cost just pennies to make - even with the addition of the pretzel M&Ms.
So, just in case you need it in written form, you'll need:
1 package of white almond bark
Micro-mini pretzels
Rice cereal squares
Pretzel M&MS

You could use colored candy discs for melting. For example, I'm thinking that using purple for part of the coating would be a good substitute for a Fiesta Bowl snack mix. I could keep part of it white, and use purple with some of the rest. Then, add in some purple, white and gray M &Ms, and you'll have a party.

You could also use different kinds of M & Ms or different cereals. Make it your own. The possibilities are immeasurable - kind of like this recipe.

For those of you who, like me, are usually very conscientious about measuring, try these snack mixes. They really do make speedy - yet tasty - gifts from the kitchen.

 (This one is from my dietitian daughter, and it's better for you than my other versions.)

(There's also a recipe for Cinnamon Chex Mix at the same link.)

for a refreshing, non-chocolate snack mix


  1. I'm like you, I sort of measure and usually just throw in what I think it needs. I'm making my own mixes to give as part of my gift boxes this year, thanks for the ideas!

    1. Glad I could help! I like giving things from my kitchen, too!

  2. Great variety of easy snacks, Kim. I like covering stuff in Almond Bark!

    Merry Christmas to you and your family. I hope you have a wonderful celebration.

    1. Same to you, Robyn! Enjoy your family and friends!