Author Notes: Chex Party Mix was hands down my favorite snack when I was a teenager, but I haven’t had it in years. Over the Thanksgiving holidays, a neighbor joined one of our dinner parties and brought a Chex Mix that was a balance of sweet and salty that I could have skipped dinner for and eaten all night. This is my version of it. Warning: This is addictive. —TheWimpyVegetarian
Makes: 9 – 10 cups (aka: a lot, but never quite enough)
4 1/2 cups corn chex cereal
3 cups of popped pop corn
2 cups pretzels (I used gluten-free pretzels to make this a gluten-free snack)
1 cup salted pepitas (roasted pumpkin seeds)
1 cup sunflower kernels
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 250 F and place a baking sheet in the oven to warm it up.
- In a large bowl, combine the corn chex, pop corn, pretzels, pepitas and sunflower kernels. Toss gently with your hands, being careful not to break up the popcorn or chex cereal.
- In a small, heavy pot, combine the rest of the ingredients and bring to a simmer over medium heat until the butter and brown sugar melt into a syrup. Simmer for about 1 minute to make sure the brown sugar is completely dissolved into a liquid form. This is your toffee, which will start to solidify very quickly as it cools.
- Remove the warmed baking sheet from the oven and pour the toffee onto it. IMMEDIATELY pour the chex-popcorn mix evenly over it and gently toss with a large spatula to coat the chex mix as well as possible. Tip: I recommend a hard spatula similar to what you might use to flip pancakes. Scrape the spatula along the bottom of the baking sheet, under the chex mix and flip it over so that you’re flipping the chex mix along with the toffee over dry chex mix, allowing the toffee to drip down to coat the mix.
- Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes, making sure to turn the chex mix over every 15 minutes to continue to coat as much of the mix as possible. It will be impossible to completely coat everything, nor do you want to unless you want a snack that’s more sweet than salty, but a little a little of the toffee should be on everything. If you’re using unsalted popcorn, sprinkle additional salt on the mixture when you toss it every 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and break up any large clumps. If you wait until it cools, you won’t be able to do this without breaking the chex, pretzels and popcorn.