Today I’m sharing a roundup of four of our favorite snacks…they’re delicious year-round, but at Christmas, they seem even tastier! Scroll down to find recipes for Merry Munch Snack Mix, Gingered Party Mix, Chocolate & Sea Salt Popcorn, and Perfect Homemade Kettle Corn. They’re all delicious for family movie nights or while driving around looking at lights, but they’re also perfect to box up as a gift. So here we go….
Merry Munch Snack Mix
- 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 8 cups rice Chex
- 1 cup white chocolate chips
- ½ cup peanut butter
- 4 Tbsp butter, cut in cubes
- ¼ tsp vanilla
- 1-1/2 cups cashews or roasted pistachios
- 1-1/3 cups dried cherries or cranberries
1. Place powdered sugar in a large ziptop bag. Measure cereal into large bowl.
2. In medium saucepan, melt butter, chocolate, and peanut butter until smooth. Stir in vanilla.
3. Pour over cereal and toss to coat.
4. Place half the coated cereal at a time into the powdered sugar, seal, and shake until evenly coated.
5. Repeat with remaining cereal.
6. Add nuts and dried cherries or cranberries, and enjoy!
I’m so glad you can buy the standard party mix, as well as many other variations of it. Why? Because I don’t like it, but always made it for my family and guests, of course!
Now I can make the party mixes I actually like, such as this version, spicy with ginger and sweet with banana chips and dried cranberries, as well as full of crunchy almonds and caramel-coated toasted cereal. Pure deliciousness, and perfect for movie night or on a hike…or, of course, at a party!
- 6 cups Rice Chex® or Honey Nut Chex® cereal
- 1 cup dried banana chips
- 1 cup unblanched whole almonds
- 1/4 cup butter or margarine
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger or cardamom
- 1 cup flaked coconut (I was out of coconut, so this photo has none…but it adds a whole other layer of yumminess!)
- 1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1. In large microwavable bowl, mix cereal, banana chips and almonds.
2. In 2-cup microwavable measuring cup, microwave butter, brown sugar, honey and ginger uncovered on High about 2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute, until mixture is boiling; stir. Pour over cereal mixture, stirring until evenly coated. Microwave uncovered on High 4 minutes, stirring and scraping bowl every minute. Stir in coconut and cranberries; microwave uncovered on High about 3 minutes or until cereal just begins to brown.
3. Spread on waxed paper or foil to cool. Store in airtight container. Makes about 9 cups of mix.
You know we are equal opportunity snackers here at Casa de Chaos, and love salty and sweet together. Every Friday is movie night at our house, and, when I’m in a generous mood, the hooligans love this Chocolate and Sea Salt Popcorn Mix.
Chocolate and Sea Salt Popcorn Mix
- 8 cups freshly popped popcorn
- 4 cups mini pretzel twists
- ½ cup roasted, salted pistachios
- ½ cup butter
- 2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 30 large marshmallows (not mini, not jumbo)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon flaked sea salt
1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Spray a large roasting pan or rimmed cookie sheet with cooking spray. In pan, combine popcorn, pretzels, and pistachios. Set aside.
2. In large heavy saucepan, combine butter and chocolate. Heat, stirring, over medium low heat until melted. Stir in marshmallows and continue heating and stirring until they are melted and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
3. Pour over popcorn mixture and toss gently to coat evenly. Spread evenly in pan and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake at 275 for about 20 minutes or until crisp, stirring halfway through.
I made this last week, when we had rain and about 148 percent humidity. It was crisp when I took it from the oven, but got a little soggy soon thereafter. I packaged my mom’s with a note to reheat it at 300 degrees for 10 minutes, and it crisped right back up, she said. Not to mention that when I re-crisped my portion, it tasted even better warm from the oven, while we watched a little Denver Bronco football.
When I’m ready for a quick collapse on the couch for movie night, we just whip up some Kettle Corn and call it good. It’s actually pretty amazing, though, not just good!
I am kicking myself for not figuring this out sooner. As in, before we paid enough for kettle corn that we could have financed a college education. Making Homemade Kettle Corn is so easy…and inexpensive! For less than a dollar, we make enough for the whole family (that’s two batches, by the way).
The key, in my opinion, is a old-fashioned stovetop popper, the kind with a tight lid and crank to stir the kernels while they’re popping. We bought ours a few years ago, when we discovered that the built-in microwave in our house doesn’t properly pop popcorn. Crazy, right? Anyway, we invested in a stovetop popper (one with a metal gear on the crank, not plastic that’s grey to look like metal in the photos online…ours was around $40), and have been happily popping away ever since.
Then, the morning of the 4th of July, we were headed to a parade and had no snacks to take. We decided to pop up some corn, and I suggested we throw a little sugar in with the butter and oil…voila, perfect Kettle Corn!
Here’s the simple how-to:
Homemade Kettle Corn
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
1. Melt the butter and coconut oil in the popper over medium high heat. Add the sugar and the popcorn and replace the lid. Crank and crank until the popping slows, about 3 minutes. Be careful not to burn it, since the sugar can make that easy to do!
2. Pour it into a bowl, salt it, and ENJOY!
See…I told you it was easy! This has become our favorite snack, whether for movie night or to take along to a parade or hike.
There you have it…four tasty ways to snack your way through the holidays. I can pretty much guarantee that we will have enjoyed all of them well before December 25! Hope you do, as well!