Wednesday, December 2, 2009

One Granny's Mistake Will Be 2 Grandson's Good Fortune

Last year AD and I hosted a Christmas Open House in our new home. I had so much fun preparing snacks and baking cookies that I asked AD about doing an encore presentation this year. He thought that might be fun.

This year's Christmas Open House is a week from next Saturday.

Today I started making preparations. I made Chex Mix (the original) and I'll bag it up to be used on the twelfth. It should keep for a week and a half.

I also found a recipe for Chocolate Chex Caramel Crunch. It sounded pretty good too but before I was going to jump in and make it, I read all 45 reviews of the recipe.

A few of the reviews said M&Ms might be good substitution for the vanilla baking chips the recipe called for. The comments said the M&Ms wouldn't be quite as messy. EXCELLENT! I had some left over mini M&Ms baking chips that I could use.

Other reviewers suggested adding pretzels and peanuts and one person thought Cheerios would work well too. I had pretzels and peanuts in the pantry and decided to use those as well.

I got all of the dry ingredients (with some substitutions/additions) mixed up in a large bowl but I forgot to include the M&Ms.

After the brown sugar/butter/syrup mixture was made and stirred into the cereal mixture, the Chex Mix went back in the microwave for 3 minutes and I stirred it at 1 minute intervals. It came out pretty well but it didn't have the M&Ms in it.

No problem - with the substitutions I made I still had some Chocolate Chex cereal left so I decided to make another batch. I SHOULD have just mixed in the M&Ms at that point but for some reason my brain must have shorted out and I didn't take into consideration a possible melting factor.

I proceeded to mix up another batch.

I prepared the brown sugar/butter/syrup mixture and poured it over the cereal. As I began to toss everything together the light finally came back on in my brain. The M&Ms were melting.

Oh, well. I was in too far at that point so I continued.

This is how it came out. It's still pretty tasty and I'm sure AD, Daughter, G1 and G2 will like it but I'm not going to be serving this version at the Open House. It's WAY too messy. And I think if it doesn't get eaten fairly quickly it would be soggy before the twelfth.

Oh well - you win some - you lose some. This is kind of a Win-Win situation though. I won because I have 2 tasty treats to serve at the Open House and the family wins because they can eat my mistake.

Here's my variation on the recipe:

4 cups Chocolate Chex cereal
3 cups Rice Chex cereal
2 cups Corn Chex cereal
2 cups small pretzels
2 cups peanuts
1 cup M&Ms (optional)

Mix altogether in a very large microwave safe bowl.

In a 2 cup glass measuring cup (or something similar) put:

1 stick of margarine or butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
4 tablespoons light corn syrup

Microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir and microwave an additional minute.

Stir 1 teaspoon baking soda into the brown sugar/butter/syrup mixture. Mix it well and know that it will swell up.

Pour over cereal mixture to coat. Microwave for 6 minutes, stirring at 2 minute intervals.

Turn out onto baking sheet that has been lined with waxed paper. Let cool and break apart.

If you have decided to use the M&Ms, mix them in after all is cooled.

One last thing - you may have noticed that I used Great Value light corn syrup today. That's because no one seems to have Griffin's right now. I have to go into town in the next day or two. Maybe someone will have gotten a shipment. I hope so! I'm making Divinity for the Open House too. . .


  1. First of all I just want to say that I will be there at the open house! Bob and me!
    Also that looks really good to me..What fun!

    And I just wanted to say I am just MAD about your glass sleigh and reindeer and Santa!! Beautiful!

  2. Oh looks yummy! I remember my mother trying to make divinity in the Philippines--the humidity wouldn't let it set properly or something.

  3. I love all of that stuff! Yum....even the one with the melted M & Ms looks good to me.

  4. If it's melted chocolate it's got to be good! My two favorite things about the holiday season are the food and the music. It's going to be a fun party at your house! p.s. I had a computer malfunction and accidentally deleted your comments on my Christmas tree post. Didn't want you to think I don't appreciate them :)

  5. The verdict from Daughter, her boys, AD and the people he works with is that the "mistake" is addictive. Looks like it turned out a winner after all.

  6. Mistakes are how Chefs create great dishes!

    Something simple is to melt some chocolate almond bark and pour over popcorn. YUM.