Totally Addictive Sweet & Spicy Snack Mix

chex mix

I dunno about you, but I'm always on the hunt for easy, fun munchies to put out for the holidays.  Or to wrap up and take as a hostess gift.  This mix is Chex Mix for the new millennium.  It's got an Asian twist, is sweet, salty, crunchy and a just a little bit spicy.  Perfect with a nice glass of wine or a beer. 

FYI, Trader Joe's is a great place to find the components for this recipe.  And when you're done, find some gifty little glass containers or tins (for those of you around Boston, China Fair is a great spot to find these), fill 'em up, wrap 'em with a bow, and off you go!

Sarah's Sweet & Spicy Snack Mix

12 c. Chex cereal (whole grain works well here, or rice)
1 1/2 lbs. roasted mixed salted nuts  - low salt if you can find them (6 c.)
3 c. Asian rice cracker mix (7 oz.)
3 c. sesame sticks (8 oz.)
3 c. pretzel nuggets (8 oz.)
2 sticks unsalted butter
1/2 c. maple syrup
1/3 c. low-sodium soy sauce
1 T. Thai red curry paste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.  In a large bowl (needs to be huge! or else use 2 large bowls), combine the cereal with the nuts, rice cracker mix, sesame sticks and pretzels. 

Combine the butter, maple syrup, soy sauce and curry paste in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer, whisking to dissolve the curry paste.  Pour the mixture over the snack mix and toss to coat.  Season generously (do not be timid - it's snack mix, it's supposed to be salty!) with salt and pepper and spread on 2 large rimmed baking sheets.  Bake for approximately 1 hour, stirring frequently (every 10-15 minutes), until nearly dry and toasted.  Let cool completely, stirring occasionally.

This makes 27 cups!  Enough for a big party or several gifts/get-togethers.  If you want to make this ahead of time, store in airtight containers - it'll keep at least a couple of weeks.  If you need to recrisp the mix, throw it on a baking sheet and bake at 275 for a bit, stirring occasionally.