Katie’s Caramel Crunch

This highly-customizable recipe makes a delicious snack mix. It can work for any holiday or event. Just adjust the added candies to fit the color scheme. The recipe came from the Kellogg’s site (original here), and is very close to a recipe I used to make for Halloween. Still can’t find that recipe, but this one is a great substitute. Katie’s Caramel Crunch is the third of my 25 Appetizers of Christmas.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups Kellogg’s® Crispix® cereal
  • 3 cups popped popcorn
  • 2 cups small square pretzels
  • 1 cup cocktail peanuts (optional)
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 250°F.
  2. In 17 x 11 x 2-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray, combine Kellogg’s® Crispix® cereal, popcorn, pretzels and peanuts (if desired). Set aside.
  3. In heavy 3-quart saucepan combine brown sugar, butter and corn syrup.
  4. Bring to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly.
  5. Reduce heat. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
  6. Remove from heat.
  7. Stir in vanilla and baking soda. This mixture will foam up, so be sure you don’t let it boil over!
  8. Immediately pour over cereal mixture.
  9. Stir until evenly coated.
  10. Bake at 250°F about 1 hour or until deep golden brown, stirring every 15 minutes.
  11. Spread on wax paper. Separate clumps.
  12. Cool completely. Store in airtight container.

Variations

  • My version of this recipe is a little different. Instead of moving the mix to wax paper, stir it in the pan to ensure it is broken up properly. Allow it to cool a bit and add seasonal candies (like candy corn and pumpkins, holiday M&M’s, etc.). The mix needs to be cool enough that the candy will not melt.
  • I recommend buying a bag of prepopped popcorn on the chips aisle at your grocery store for this recipe. You can pop your own, but then you have to sort through the bowl to remove any unpopped kernels or burned pieces. If you buy the prepopped stuff at the store, you save a lot of time and don’t have to worry about missing a kernel.
  • Change the cereal mix to your liking. You can use 6 cups of whatever you like. Obviously 3 cups of Rice Chex and 3 cups of Corn Chex would be the same as 6 cups of Crispix. It’s highly adaptable though. You can use whatever cereal mix you like. I’d just stay away from anything fruity or “candy” like (e.g. Chocolate).
  • I am not savvy about gluten-free recipes, but I am told this recipe can be easily adjusted for a gluten-free snack mix.

Time Required: 1½ hours

Servings: 24

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One Response to Katie’s Caramel Crunch

  1. tengrrl says:

    Just made this recipe and found that double the caramel was better. I tried to stir it around, but ended up making a second batch. That said, I added two cups of Cheerios, so I had a bit more cereal.

    I also should have remembered to note that the pans end up sticky and messy. Looking at them, you’d think they’d never come clean. Good news there though: it’s all sugar. Just add water and it will dissolve like magic.

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