Simple & Addicting Caramel Chex Mix

caramel chex

Meet one of easiest to make and most addicting sweet snacks you will ever encounter. I think you two will get along very well!

My lab is partnering with another group on campus for a field campaign at Cape Cod over the next few weeks. I’m part of the set-up crew. One of our responsibilities was driving all the equipment out to the site and prepping instruments for sampling. Since the drive was a few hours, that’s kind of like a road trip, right? And all good road trips require proper snacking supplies, right? (Answers: yes and heck yes.) Fortunately, I just so happen to have the perfect, incredibly addicting road trip snack.

My family made this mix to take to our relatives a few years ago. We ate the entire batch en route and, upon arrival, handed them the empty tin with the sheepish promise to fill it up if they’d let us use their oven (and go grocery shopping). We must have made at least three more batches of this stuff over the course of our visit. I’m not even sure where it all went, but somewhere between all the card playing and drinking, bowl after bowl kept disappearing.

This recipe is embarrassingly easy to make. But everybody needs some fallback quick and delicious party/road trip/family gathering snacks in their repertoire, so I thought I’d share one of my family’s staples with you. Maybe you could use it for the upcoming Superbowl? I hope you find it as ridiculously addicting as we do. One note of warning: this makes a LOT, so plan to either have plenty of people over or give bags of this away!



1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

3/4 cup white corn syrup

1 cup brown sugar

1-2 cups chopped pecans, almonds, and/or walnuts (adjust mix to your liking)

1-2 cups pretzels*

1 (12oz) package Chex cereal (rice is my family’s favorite, but corn or wheat will also work)

*If your grocery store is also organized by a five year old and, even after half an hour of searching, you can’t find the normal pretzels anywhere they should logically be, use whatever you can find. For example, pretzel Goldfish work great.


1. Preheat oven to 275 F. Spray a large roasting pan generously with baking spray.

2. Pour the cereal, nuts, and pretzels in two large bowls or one extra large bowl (you’ll need space to stir them).

3. Microwave butter, corn syrup, and brown sugar in a microwave-safe bowl for 2 minutes. Stir together until well-mixed. The butter will want to float on top, so you’ll have to do some creative stirring (stir in large vertical loops, pulling up the bottom and folding it over the top so that the butter gets pulled into the rest of the mixture).

4. Pour the butter/syrup/sugar mix over top of the cereal/nut/pretzel mix and stir to coat as evenly as possible.

5. Spread the coated mix in the roasting pan and bake for 1 hour. Every 15 minutes, pull the pan out of the oven and stir the mix really well. The more you stir, the more even you’ll coat all the pieces and the better the final mix will be.

6. Spread the mix on sheets of wax paper to cool. Be sure to break up any large clumps or it’ll harden together in a big lump.

7. Serve to anyone you want to fatten up. (Just kidding, but it really is impossible to stop munching on this stuff once you get started!)

big batch

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