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Chex Mix

Growing up, one treat we craved was chex mix.  We’re not talking the bastardized version there is today but that original recipe (when there were no other chex cereal recipes).  It called for all three varieties of chex – wheat, rice and corn; pretzels; and mixed nuts.  The hour of baking was nearly tortuous as our child tummies were already so hungry.

My mom didn’t make us chex mix all that often.  Buying three boxes of cereal for a snack was quite the investment but when she did, we knew we’d be having chex mix a couple of times until the cereal ran out.

Like all childhood foods, chex mix is one of those recipes that calls to me.  However, life has changed.  Chex cereal no longer has the original recipe printed on their boxes (instead it’s always Muddy Buddies which are good but come on – we want the original chex mix).  If you buy the “original” recipe in the bag – you get a version that was never considered in the 80’s.  What the heck are rye chips and why do we want them in our cereal (okay so we like rye chips but they just don’t belong in this recipe)?

The thing I love best about chex mix is that no matter what life throws at us, we can have a version of that recipe.  I love that there are the three types of cereal.  I never liked the wheat chex which was perfect when we gave up gluten for a few years.  It was during that time, that I created this recipe.  You can easily alter it to make it friendly for what ever allergy might plague your house.

So here’s how it goes –

1 box chex cereal in any variety (we prefer rice but this works with any of them)
3-4 cups add-in (pretzels, nuts, rye chips, bagel chips, whatever)
1/2 cup butter or oil (1/2 cup butter equals 1 stick)
2 T Worcheshire sauce
1 ½ teas seasoning salt
¾ teas garlic powder
½ teas onion powder
kosher salt – only if your add-ins are salt free

Melt the butter/add oil to glass measuring cup.  I use a 1 cup measuring cup for this because it is less messy.  In a large (huge) bowl, pour in your entire box of cereal and your add-ins.

A quick note about add-ins – put in what you like.  We love pretzels so sometimes we have just cereal and pretzels.  This past weekend, I added in raw nuts and seeds.  Raw almonds and pecan added an amazing flavor.  We found the seeds were just not to our liking (but I didn’t have enough nuts, oops).  Don’t feel like you have to add the full three cups either.  Want it to just be chex cereal, that’s cool too.

To the melted butter, add the remaining ingredients except for the kosher salt.  After a good stir, pour over the cereal and add-ins.  I like to use a folding method to stir chex mix.  It doesn’t break down the cereal and allows the mix to get fully incorporated.  Feel free to taste.  If you have unsalted add-ins, sprinkle over a little kosher salt.  We needed to do this with our batch this weekend.  I got a little over zealous with the salt but I loved the flavor.

Pour the mix onto a baking sheet with sides and put in a 250 degree oven.  Now do not wash your dishes at this point.  When 15 minutes has passed, remove the mix from the oven and pour it back into the bowl.  Pour over any leftover sauce from the measuring cup (now you can wash it).  Fold the mix in the bowl and return it to the cookie sheet.  Repeat until you have baked the mix for an hour (4 times).  Feel free to use the dirty bowl for the finished mix.  It does no harm to use it and you have fewer dishes.

Easy Peasy and you have a snack that might actually make it to the next day (if you hide some before bringing the bowl out to the family).