Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Reindeer Crunch Snack Mix

I made up this snack mix to enjoy while watching Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer for Family Night. We all agreed it was a hit, and I plan to make it for our Christmas Eve get-together. Santa Claus comes through our neighborhood on a firetruck. It is a tradition we had in my neighborhood growing up, and one I am glad I can continue with my son.

This snack mix is sweet, salty, crunchy, fruity, chocolaty, you know, delicious. You can buy a bag of caramel corn instead of making your own, but I think it tastes way better this way. Also, I have fond memories of making caramel corn with my Mom as a child, and it makes me feel nostalgic to make my own. I use the Karo recipe, just like my Mom did, it's fool-proof. I'll include it in the ingredients and instructions, but here is a link Karo Syrup - Classic Caramel Corn


For the Caramel Corn:

8 cups of popped popcorn
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup Corn Syrup
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter OR margarine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon  vanilla extract

For the Snack Mix:

1 Recipe Caramel Corn
2 cups of small Pretzels
1 cup of toasted Pecans
2 cups of Mini Marshmallows
1 cup of dried cranberries
1 cup of chocolate Chips
1 large paper grocery bag


For the Caramel Corn:
Spray a large shallow roasting pan with cooking spray. Add popcorn and place in preheated 250°F oven while preparing caramel.
Mix brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and salt in a heavy 2-quart saucepan. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium heat.

Boil 5 minutes WITHOUT STIRRING. Remove from heat. Stir in baking soda and vanilla.(Mixture will foam)

Pour syrup mixture over warm popcorn, stirring to coat evenly.
Bake for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven and spread on foil that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

Cool; break apart. Reserve foil-lined baking sheets for the next step.

To Make the Snack Mix:

Place the cooled caramel corn, pretzels, pecans, marshmallows, and cranberries into the paper grocery bag. Shake to combine. Spread mixture out on the reserved baking sheets.

Place chocolate chips into a microwave-safe glass bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir, return to microwave and cook on high for 30 second intervals until melted. This usually takes me 1.5 - 2 minutes depending on how cold it is. However, it is very important to stir it every 30 seconds, and stop heating it as soon as it is melted.

Use a spoon to drizzle the melted chocolate over the snack mix. You can let it cool, then break it up. Or you can place the snakc mix back into the bag as soon as you drizzle it with chocolate and shake shake shake to get the chocolate more evenly distributed, which is what I did.

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