Sunday, August 22, 2010

Chocolate Caramel Chex Mix

I'm something of a Chex Mix fanatic.  Only, not the kind you buy in bags at the grocery store.  The best Chex Mix is the kind you make yourself at home; the bagged stuff just isn't the same.  And, while I love good old original Chex Mix, I discovered last year that General Mills has a Chex Mix contest every year, and they publish the three recipes that are determined to be the best.  All of the recipes from past years are available on the Chex website.  Which is exactly where I got the yummy recipe for the concoction pictured above called Chocolate Caramel Crunch Chex Mix.  (I'll admit that I modified the "official" recipe a little bit.)

I'm going to confess here that I'm not a fan of Muddy Buddies/Puppy Chow, the typical sweet/chocolatey Chex-based treat.  That stuff always tastes too sweet and seems to have sort of a "gloppy" consistency.  So, when I wanted to make Chex Mix last week to take into work for a chocolate-loved friend's birthday, I decided to try the chocolate-caramel recipe.  Now, forgive me, but until I saw this recipe, I had no idea that there was even such a thing as Chocolate Chex.  But, now that I've been enlightened, I can see making this snack mix on a regular basis.  It helps that it's super easy to make, too.

Chocolate Caramel Crunch Chex Mix

9 cups Chocolate Chex cereal (the whole box)
6 T. butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 T. light corn syrup
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 cups honey-roasted peanuts
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Place cereal and peanuts in a microwave safe bowl.  In another bowl, combine butter, brown sugar and corn syrup.  Microwave on high for about a minute and a half, until the butter and sugar are melted and everything can be stirred together.  Stir in the baking soda, then pour mixture over the cereal and peanuts and mix well, until evenly coated.  Microwave on high for 3 or 4 minutes, stirring well after each minute.  Spread mixture out onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper to cool.  Allow to cool for about 10 or 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, microwave white chocolate chips for about 90 seconds, stirring at each 30 second interval, until chips are melted and smooth.  Do not over-microwave!  Drizzle the white chocolate over the snack mix on the cookie sheet.  After all of the white chocolate has been drizzled on, using a spatula, turn and stir the mix to break up any clumps of white chocolate, and to ensure that all of the mixture gets some of the white chocolate topping.  Allow to cool completely, until the white chocolate has firmly set up.  (You can place in the fridge for half an hour or so if you want to.)  Before serving, break mixture up with your hands, as necessary, into small bites.

Let me conclude by saying that this was a BIG hit with my co-workers.  Several people commented that it was yummy without being too sweet, an assessment that I'd have to agree with.  So, next time you're craving a chocolate treat, give this snack mix a try!

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