Esther loves chex mix. She bugs me to make it quite often. I'm thinking the Christmas season truly starts for her as soon as I make the first batch of chex mix. Now, anyone can read and copy the original recipe and if you aren't a bold and spicy kinda person, I would encourage you to do so. However, if you want to take it up a notch or two, keep reading.
First, melt one stick of unsalted butter (1/2 cup) in a large roasting pan in your oven set at 250°. Please skip the microwave directions. Just skip it. The flavor and texture of oven roasted chex mix is far superior to insta-mix. Take an hour to make a legit batch of this deliciousness. Think of it as disciplining yourself to slow down a bit to enjoy life.
In a big bowl mix all of the dry ingredients, minus the spices. I kind of follow the original suggestions, but then get a little crazy.
3 cups each rice, corn, wheat chex
A big handful of stick pretzels (They are easy to pick and will be gone fast if you don't add extra.)
1 cup mixed nuts
1 cup whole cashews (my fancy expensive ingredient)
1 cup pecans (My parents and my mom-in-law have pecan trees. I can't even imagine having to buy pecans in the store. I'm spoiled.)
1 cup Cheerios (But only if you want something that soaks up extra flavor. The little cheerios are Esther's favorite part. They will take on so much of the sauce, so leave it out if you will just throw them out after everything else is eaten.)
1 cup of something special (Goldfish, Cheezits, Bugles, bagel chips...anything you think would fit the flavor profile. Goldfish are my favorite, but I may try the spicy Cheezits sometime soon.)
Be careful when you mix not to crush the cereal.
In a separate container, measure out your spices. Again, I just do my own thing. I'm pretty sure it is different every time, but I err on the side of too much because too little is just buttered cereal and who wants to eat that?
2 tsp seasoned salt
2 tsp garlic powder (you already added salt, so don't add garlic salt)
1 heaping tsp chili powder
1 tsp onion powder
Whoa. That's a lot of flavor.
Take out your pan and get over your guilt of making something with that much butter.
Enter the key ingredients: Worcestershire Sauce and Tabasco Sauce. Oh yes. Most definitely.
Don't freak out, but I add about 6-8 tablespoons of the W-sauce. I know it's a lot, but my chex mix is pretty amazing.
If you don't like spicy food (I'll pray for you) skip the Tabasco or add just a little. I add 3-4 tablespoons. Yep. I know. You think that's too much. But you're wrong. That's what gives it a kick. This is not your bland, ordinary chex mix. This is bold and spicy! You will love it! People will love it! Trust me.
Add your spices in and mix it all up.
Now dump in your cereal mixture and gently stir to coat. It will look brown, wet, and buttery, but it will come together perfectly within an hour. Stir every 15 minutes of baking to continue to evenly distribute the seasonings.
After an hour of baking, beautiful golden crunchy goodness appears.
Dump it out on foil or paper towels to cool. Try really hard not to pick out the cashews and pretzels while it sits there wafting its fragrance everywhere. After it cools, store in an air tight container. It won't last long! This is also a great gift because it isn't a sweet treat and will stand above all the other plates of cookies your neighbors and kids' teachers receive. If you do give this to a teacher, be sure to add a nice gift card to Starbucks because they just deserve it.
Oh my yumminess. This stuff is so, so good! I've made two batches already. My kids are piggies.
I wouldn't lead you astray. It is easy to make. It is delicious. You should try it.
Will you? Do you have any questions? Do you have a not sweet treat you like to make during the holidays?