Monday, March 12, 2012

Frito Snack Mix

Frito Snack Mix 11March2012

I think it should be called "Frito Crack Mix." It's that addicting. I just made it yesterday and it's almost gone.

Tom loves Fritos. They are one of his favorite guilty pleasures. Pure processed faux chip food. He also loves movies. And when he watches movies he like to munch....nuts, pretzels, chips, Fritos...anything crunchy.

Tom worked in the yard all day Saturday and I knew he'd want to sit down in the evening and watch a movie and maybe even another at some point during the day on Sunday. I had seen this recipe guest posted on Recipe Girl by Shelly of Cookies and Cups. Fritos, pretzels, nuts, M&M's, all of Tom's favorite munchies in one very large bowl.

First thing Saturday morning we made a quick trip to the store to pick up the essentials and while Tom was slaving away in the backyard later in the morning, I made the snack mix. But you know me. For one reason or another, I can't seem to follow a recipe exactly as written. I always have to add my own twist.

The recipe called for a 10.5 ounce bag of Fritos. Check (although Tom really did want a bigger bag).

Frito Snack Mix 11March2012

Then 2 cups of rice chex cereal. I used 3 cups. I think next time, instead of upping the amount of cereal, I will use the bigger bag of Fritos.

Next is 2 cups pretzel twists. What are pretzel twists? Turns out they are those regular pretzels, but that's not what Tom wanted. He likes those long, thick pretzel sticks, so that's what we bought and I measured them standing upright in a one cup measure. In the end, I thought the bigger pretzel sticks were too large for the mix and next time I will buy the smaller pretzels or maybe even the peanut butter pretzel nuggets.

Frito Snack Mix 11March2012

The next ingredient is 1-1/2 cups of any kind of nut. Since a container of fancy mixed nuts is Tom's preference, that's what I used AND I increased the amount to 2 cups.

Finally, since I had increased the bulk ingredients significantly, I also increased the candy coating by half. It turned out to be the perfect amount to coat everything.

What didn't work out for me was mixing in the mini M&M's. The recipe says to wait until the mixture cools completely before adding the M&M's, however, they wound up at the bottom of the bowl and not throughout the mix. Next time, after I transfer the hot mixture to the wax paper to cool, I will sprinkle the M&M's on the mixture while it's still warm so they cling to the candy coated crunchies.

Frito Snack Mix 11March2012

The recipe that follows contains my changes to the ingredients. If you'd like to follow the original recipe, you can do so HERE.

Frito Snack Mix 11March2012

Frito Snack Mix
Adapted from the post at Recipe Girl by Shelly of Cookies and Cups

  • 1 - 10.5-ounce bag of Fritos
  • 3 cups rice chex cereal (as I said earlier, I think next time I will use 2 cups of the cereal and use the next larger bag of Fritos)
  • 2 cups pretzel sticks or twists
  • 2 cups fancy mixed nuts
  • 1-1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup mini M&M's (although I think the regular size would also be fine)

Preheat oven to 350˚F.

In a large bowl, combine the Fritos, rice chex cereal, pretzels and nuts and set aside while you make the coating.

Prepare a large roasting pan by spraying lightly with cooking spray.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the sugar, butter and corn syrup together. Turn the heat up a little to bring the mixture to a boil and boil without stirring for 4 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and pour over the Frito mixture, tossing well to coat the mix evenly. Pour the mixture into the prepared roasting pan, gently spreading the mixture to an even layer. Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, stir the mixture well and return to the oven to bake for an additional 8 minutes.

During the last 8 minutes baking time, lay 2 long pieces of wax paper down on your counter, overlapping the pieces slightly in the center. To keep the wax paper from moving around, I wiped the counter with a damp sponge, then partially dried the counter with a paper towel. It was just damp enough to hold the wax paper in place, but dry so as not to get the wax paper wet.

When the mixture is done, transfer it to the wax paper, laying it out as evenly as possible. This is the point where I would sprinkle the M&M's evenly over the warm mixture so they will adhere to the mixture as it cools.

Allow the mixture to cool completely before breaking into clumps. Store in an airtight container for up to a week. Trust me. It won't last that long.

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