One of the things I really enjoy is celebrating the changing seasons with my children. Their excitement and wonder for all things new (to a three-year-old) and different is fun to experience with them. As part of our seasonal celebrations, I enjoy making fun, festive treats with my kids. My middle child, who is five, subscribes to a kids’ cooking magazine called Yum for Kids. It is full of fun and interesting ideas to help families celebrate, from themed party ideas to suggestions of recipes to serve. This recipe is one we really enjoy in the autumn. Make it to take along on a trip to the orchard for apple picking, or to eat while snuggled up watching a movie on a cold day.
What you need:
- 4 c. cereal squares, such as Chex
- 4 c. plain popped popcorn
- 1 c. peanuts, dry-roasted or honey-roasted
- 1 c. pumpkin seeds, optional
- 1/4 c. butter
- 6 T. brown sugar, packed
- 2 T. light corn syrup
- 1/4 t. vanilla extract (store-bought or homemade)
- 1/4 t. pumpkin pie spice
- 1 c. candy corn and/or candy pumpkins, optional*
*Note: If you don’t care for candy corn or candy pumpkins, feel free to substitute m&m’s or leave out the candy altogether.
- 4 quart microwave-safe bowl
- medium microwave-safe bowl
- spatula or large spoon
- wax paper
Time: Ten minutes.
Serves: A crowd.
Multiplying the recipe: It makes a pretty good amount (about 11 c.), and it uses the biggest bowl in my kitchen. Make separate batches.
Fall Snack Mix:
In a 4-quart bowl, mix the cereal, popcorn, peanuts, and pumpkin seeds, if using. Set aside.
In another bowl, place butter, brown sugar, syrup, and vanilla. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir, and microwave about 1 minute longer, until the mixture boils. Stir in the pumpkin pie spice.
Pour the syrup mixture over the cereal mixture and stir. Try to evenly coat all of the cereal mixture with the syrup. Microwave the cereal on high for 5 minutes. Stir after each minute. The frequent stirring is necessary to prevent scorching.
Lay waxed paper on the counter, and spread the cereal mixture on it. Allow it to cool for 15 minutes or so (it’s fine if it’s longer) before adding the candy pieces. (Cool completely before adding m&m’s, or they’ll melt!) Stir. Store in an airtight container.