It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas!

December 11, 2015

Chex mix. AKA spicy Christmas crack.

Chex mix. AKA spicy Christmas crack.

If, that is, Christmas smells like garlic and Worcestershire and hot sauce.

I have been making Chex mix.

I discovered the most astounding Chex mix a year or so ago, off the Pioneer Woman website. It puts commercial Chex Mix in the shade, not least because you can customize what you put in it. But mostly because the sauce you put on the mix to bake it is just so…doggoned…good.

This batch, I got a little creative. Besides the basic Chex and pretzels, pecans and peanuts, I added toasted edamame, pumpkin seeds, and toasted corn kernels. M’mm h’mmm, yeah. Can I hear an Amen, here?

Here’s the recipe, which is one of the few I actually measured, because I want stuff to be in some sort of proportion.

  • Three cups each of Rice, Corn and Wheat Chex. (I left out the Wheat Chex, and went an extra cup on each of the other two. This batch isn’t gluten free, but I’ll make one later that is.
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 1 cup peanuts
  • 1 cup toasted edamame
  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup toasted corn kernels

I might cut back the pumpkin seeds in the next batch. It looked like an overload of pumpkin seeds.

The sauce for these is:

  • a stick of butter, melted
  • five or six cloves of smashed garlic (I used more garlic than that, and it was garlic confit)
  • 1/2 tsp Lawry’s seasoned salt
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • several dashes of hot sauce (I think I used, oh, a dozen or so)

Heat that in the microwave until the butter is melted, and whisk it all up together. Stir all the other stuff up in a big mixing bowl, and drizzle this all over the top. Stir it well to get everything coated.

Put the mix in baking pans — I used one half-sheet jelly roll pan, and one 9 x 13 — and into a 250-degree oven for an hour and 15 minutes. Stir it two or three times while it’s cooking, to get it to brown evenly without burning. Let it cool completely, and store it in an airtight container.

Preferably out of sight, because, this stuff? Is Sweet Baby Jesus good, and you should never, ever sit down with a big bag or container of it, because you will find you have eaten it ALL by the time you get up. You can’t quit until someone makes you, I promise. It’s just too good.

I put it in treat bags as part of my Christmas goodie baskets. I have been known to sneak one of the treat bags out, eat the Chex Mix, and replace it with something else. Or make more.

You can use this same sauce to make spicy pecans, which Child C loves more than anything in this world. I guess I’ll have to make her a little bag of them all her own, to keep her from picking them out of the community bowl of Chex Mix. We have all threatened to kill her. It doesn’t work.

Anyway, there’s a start to the holiday giftmaking. Next up: Maple Date Nut Bread, which will have to go in the freezer. And toffee. And apple butter, Friday, because once again today, I didn’t get to it. I did pull the other canned goodies off the shelf, though — pear butter, fig jam, tomato chutney. Don’t have enough bacon jam for some of the baskets, so they get something else. Will wait a week on the crackers, so they’ll be a little fresher when they’re delivered.

Still plenty for you ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em to do to help. Come on by.



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