Popcorn Party Mix is all dressed for the holidays – nobody can resist munching handfuls of this favourite snack. (Skip to recipe.)
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas . . . fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-laaaaah!
The Christmas spirit has finally hit me, little signs of the coming festivities are starting to peek out of corners . . .
Maybe it’s the beautiful soft snowfalls we’ve been having, smoothing everything over with a marshmallowy blanket of white . . . maybe it’s that our tree is up and decorated, glowing in multi-coloured jewels . . . or maybe it’s that I finally got out of my funk. I’m getting that giddy feeling inside, anticipating the wonder and coziness of family all together again for the holidays.
There will be much merriment and many gatherings of friends and family.
So, snacks will be needed. Lots of them.
Here’s my version of that traditional old favourite. It disappears from the bowl by the handful – who can resist this crunchy, spicy, savoury party mix? And this one’s ‘all dressed’ for company with popcorn and all the trimmings; a little bit of salt ‘n vinegar, a little bit of barbecue, and a little bit of garlic and onion (plus it’s a little lighter on the butter – so you can eat more 🙂 ).
Betcha can’t eat just one little handful!
* * * * *
Kitchen Frau Notes: Use 8 cups of any kind of waffle-weave breakfast cereal, or substitute in a few cups of other bite-sized cereals like Cheerios or Corn Bran Squares or small crackers, like those little fish-shaped crackers. (Just be aware that your mix will no longer be gluten free.)
If you don’t have a large metal roasting pan, you can use a large foil roasting pan, or stir up the party mix in a large bowl and bake it in two 9 x 13 inch pans.
*The chili powder called for in the recipe is the premixed spice blend for making chili, not ground dried chili peppers.
All-Dressed Popcorn Party Mix
- 8 cups (2 litres) waffle-weave-squares breakfast cereal – like Chex brand (use gluten-free rice Chex for gluten-free version)
- 8 cups (2 litres) popped popcorn
- 3 cups (750 ml) mini pretzels or pretzel sticks (gluten-free if necessary)
- 2 cups (500ml) roasted peanuts or mixed nuts of choice
- ½ cup (120ml) melted butter (or coconut oil for dairy-free)
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (gluten-free if necessary)
- 1½ teaspoons fine sea salt
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika, regular or smoked
- 1 teaspoon chili powder* (or 1 additional teaspoon regular sweet paprika)
- ½ teaspoon celery salt
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard powder
- ½ teaspoon ground rosemary
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Preheat the oven to 275°F.
Combine the cereal, popcorn, pretzels, and nuts in a large roasting pan.
In a 2-cup spouted measuring or a bowl, whisk together the melted butter with the remaining ingredients.
Drizzle the spicy dressing evenly over the popcorn mixture, then use two spatulas to toss it well until everything is coated evenly.
Bake for one hour, stirring the mix with a silicone spatula every 15 minutes. Check the popcorn kernels. If they are crunchy, it’s done; if they’re not quite crunchy enough, bake the mix for another 10 minutes.
Allow to cool, then store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
Makes 21 cups.
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