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holiday Chex mix
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5 from 4 votes

Holiday Caramel Chex Mix

If you like caramel corn, you'll absolutely love Holiday Caramel Chex Mix. It's made like my Old-Fashioned Caramel Corn using Corn Chex in place of popcorn, but dressed up for the holidays. It's totally addictive and makes delicious gifts for those special people on your list!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr 5 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Servings: 15 servings
Calories: 222kcal
Author: Chula King

Ingredients

  • 1 (12-ounce, 340 grams) package Corn Chex, about 10-½ to 11 cups (See Tip 1)
  • 1 cup (4 ounces, 113 grams) whole pecans, lightly toasted (See Tip 2)
  • 1 cup (5 ounces, 142 grams) whole almonds, lightly toasted (See Tip 2)
  • ½ cup (4 ounces, 113 grams) unsalted butter (See Tip 3)
  • ¾ cup (5.625 ounces, 160 grams) light brown sugar, packed (See Tip 4)
  • 6 Tablespoons (4.125 ounces, 117 grams) light corn syrup
  • ¾ teaspoon table salt
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (6.8 ounces, 196 grams) red and green M&M’s (See Tip 5)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 250°F.
  • Add Corn Chex to large bowl; add toasted pecans and toasted almonds on top. Do not stir. Set aside.
  • Heat the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring until butter is melted. Reduce heat to medium low; cook, undisturbed and uncovered, for 5 minutes.
  • Remove saucepan from heat and stir in baking soda and vanilla extract.
  • Pour the caramel over the Corn Chex and pecans; quickly stir to coat.
  • Spread the mixture onto an ungreased large disposable aluminum pan (15-3/16 x 11-5/16 x 2-⅞ inches). Bake for one hour, removing every 15 minutes to stir. (See Tip 6)
  • Spread the mixture onto parchment paper to cool. It may seem sticky at first but will dry as it cools.
  • Once cool, add M&M's.
  • Store in airtight container. (See Tip 7)
  • Yield: About 15 cups.

Notes

  1. May also use Rice, Wheat Chex or Quaker Brown Sugar Oatmeal Squares.
  2. To toast pecans, spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in preheated 350°F oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Watch carefully.
  3. May also use salted butter. However, if you use salted butter, reduce the amount of salt to ¼ teaspoon.
  4. The actual quantity of brown sugar can vary greatly depending on how one packs it. Therefore, I always weigh the brown sugar. My rule-of-thumb is 1 cup of packed brown sugar weighs 7.5 ounces.
  5. This recipe is easily adapted for different holidays by varying the color of the M&M's. For Mardi Gras, use green, purple and yellow M&Ms. For Valentines Day, use red, pink and white M&M's. For Easter, use pastel colored M&M's. For the 4th of July, use red, white and blue M&M's. For Halloween, use autumn colored M&M's. 
  6. The reason that I use a disposable roasting pan is that I don't want to bother with cleaning the hardened caramel from a regular pan. Feel free, however, to use any large pan. Just make sure that it's large enough to easily hold all of the mixture.
  7. It's important to store this in an airtight container. The reason is that the sugars are hygroscopic. What this means is that they absorb moisture and can make the Holiday Caramel Chex Mix sticky.

Nutrition

Calories: 222kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 180mg | Potassium: 108mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 195IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 0.6mg