Before you hate me for saying that “I’m not much of a candy person,“ let me inform you that I could sit down with an entire batch of this snack mix and eat it in one sitting. And if you looked into the bowl that once held the devoured snack mix, you wouldn’t see a collection of nuts or dry breadsticks left over. We all know that most snack mixes are picked through, the favorites eaten, and the undesirables left to their stale fate. Luckily this mix is made of all the good stuff so you’ll want to devour every last piece.
Maybe you’re thinking, why go to the effort of making the equivalent of a $5 bag of snack mix? Well, if you make this yourself, you’ll understand. It’s not just the butter, or the savory Worcestershire, or the spices, or the crunchy Chex and popcorn that makes this addicting- it’s the symphony of them all together. This snack mix has been part of our holiday baking and I would be selfish not to share it with you. So mix up a batch for your Christmas party this weekend, or for New Years Eve munching when you get hungry at midnight. Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and happy New Year! See you in 2019!
POPCORN AND CHEX SAVORY SNACK MIX
adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s popcorn party mix
makes approximately 9 cups party mix
3 tablespoons canola oil
1/3 cup unpopped popcorn kernels
2.5 cups Chex cereal (I used a mixture of corn and wheat chex)
1 cup bite-sized pretzels
1 cup melba toast (or something similar, like bagel chips)
8 tablespoons (4 oz) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional, but recommended)
1/2 tablespoon smooth Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne, plus more to taste
1.5 teaspoons garlic powder
1.5 teaspoons onion powder
Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.
Heat the canola oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Put a few popcorn kernels inside the pot and put the lid on. When the kernels pop, toss in the rest of the kernels and cover. As the kernels pop, shake the pot frequently to prevent burning. When approximately 10 seconds lapses in between pops, remove from heat.
Mix popcorn, Chex cereal, pretzels, and melba toast (or bagel chips) together in a large mixing bowl. Avoid adding any unpopped kernels into your mix. Set aside while you make the sauce.
Melt butter over low heat in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and whisk in the rest of the sauce ingredients. Evenly pour over the popcorn mixture and toss with a large spoon until well combined. Pour into a 9x12inch or larger baking dish. Bake at 275 for 35-40 minutes, tossing mixture every 10-15 minutes for even baking. Remove from oven when crispy and toasted (be careful not to let it burn). Cool the snack mix then store in an airtight container. Tastes best in the first few days, but lasts at least one week.