Ok, this is MY crack! I love this snack mix and have eaten myself sick off of it because I have NO self control. This is a recipe I made up to take to a family reunion based on what I had on hand about two months ago.Needless to say everyone loved it and I have made it about six times since then and shamefully admit have eaten the majority of during my late night cravings for something sweet and a tad salty. The recipe can be easily halved as well for those with little will power like me, but trust me, you will just be making another batch that much sooner!
This mix is very sweet indeed and is not for those who do not appreciate the wonderful goodness that is anything coated in a carmel/toffee type mixture. The snack mix bakes up golden and the carmel coating hardens forming the perfect coating on the nuts and cereal. The dash of salt and the salt from the nuts compliment the sweetness of the coating beautifully. While the toasting of the pecans and almonds is optional, I would highly recommend it. Toasting the nuts brings out a totally different and deeper flavor that adds a whole new dimension to any recipe you add them to.
No true snack mix (in my opinion) is complete without some chocolate and M&M’s fill this requirement! I may try adding pretzel sticks to the cereal/nut mixture before baking next time and maybe tossing in some Reese’s pieces or chopped Reese’s Peanut Butter cups with the M&M’s next time. Peanut Butter M&M’s would be great as well. Heck, the possibilities are endless, mix and match to suit your tastes.
Caramel Nut Snack Mix
12 cups Crispex Cereal (Chex would work as well)
3/4 cup light corn syrup (Karo is my fave)
1 stick of butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
Dash of salt
3/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
3/4 cup almonds, toasted
3/4 cup honey roasted peanuts
1 cup M&M candies (I used plain and peanut)
Preheat oven to 250.
Line a very large roasting pan (or two rimmed cookie sheets) with quick release foil and lightly spray with PAM.
In a medium size sauce pan over low/medium low heat, stir together the syrup, butter and brown sugar. Stir constantly until melted and sugar has disolved.
Place the cereal, pecans, almonds and honey roasted nuts into the prepared roasting pan or cookie sheets. Carefully pour the brown sugar mixture over the cereal and nuts. Use a butter spatula to toss and coat the cereal and nuts completely with the brown sugar mixture.
Evenly sprinkle lightly with salt.
Bake for 45 minutes removing every 10 mintues to gently toss with a buttered pair of tongs to ensure even baking/browning.
While snack mix is baking, spread a few large sheets of parchment paper on counter. After mixture has finished baking add the M&M candies and stir to combine. Turn mixture out onto parchment making sure to spread out to prevent large clumps to cool.
While mixture is cooling, gently toss every 15 minutes to prevent further clumping together, breaking up clumps as needed. Store in airtight container.