Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Sweet and Spicy Party Mix

We entertain quite a bit and sometimes all I want to put out is a party mix to keep guests happy until dinner is served. There are plenty of party mixes out there. We all know the names. But! General Mills brings the best options for great combinations. General Mills sent the new version of their healthy alternative cereals to 37Cooks to see if we could rise to the challenge. I chose to make my version of a party mix using something sweet and something traditional with a little twist to make your party guests say “Hmmmm”.

Sweet and Spicy Party Mix
by Susan Ritchie-Hubbard
Serves: A Party!

2 cups Chocolate Cheerios cereal
2 cups Golden Grahams cereal
2 cups Wheat Chex cereal
2 cups mini pretzels
1 cup cashews, rough chop
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup good quality honey
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon berbere or cayenne pepper (optional)
1/3 - 1/2 cup coconut flakes

Preheat oven to 325°F. Coat a large rimmed baking sheet with non-stick vegetable spray.

Combine the cereal, pretzels and nuts in a large heatproof bowl.

In a medium saucepan, add the coconut oil, brown sugar, honey, salt and berbere (if you want that little secret something to make your party guests say "Hmmmm….."). Over medium-low heat, stir constantly until the brown sugar has completely dissolved. Slowly pour the delightful sweet liquid over the cereal mix, tossing constantly and gently with a large rubber spatula, to coat all the ingredients evenly.

Scrape the coated cereal mix onto the prepared baking sheet and spread it out with the spatula as thin as possible. Please be gentle! You don’t want to crush the mixture. Bake at 325°F for 10 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and increase the heat to 350°F. Sprinkle the coconut over the mix and using your spatula, press the coconut into the mix. Return the pan to the oven and bake for another 9-11 minutes, until the coconut starts to turn a beautiful golden brown.

Allow the party mix to cool for about 20 minutes. Use the spatula to release the mix from the pan. Break into bite size pieces. Your party guests will be delighted! You can also prepare this mix and store in an air tight container for up to a week.

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