Sweet and Salty Kettle Corn Party Mix
Crunchy, salty, and borderline addictive, homemade party snack mix is guaranteed to disappear quickly at any gathering. But after making a back-of-the-box recipe recently, we felt there was room for improvement. The cereal and other snacks were tossed with melted margarine and a splash of Worcestershire before being sprinkled with seasonings—not bad, but we knew we could do better.
Test Kitchen Discoveries
** Tasters preferred the nutty sweetness of melted butter to margarine and olive oil, both of which left a greasy finish.
** The flavor of Worcestershire sauce was too domineering. Substitutes such as soy sauce, hot sauce, barbecue sauce, and even maple syrup were more successful.
** Bold seasonings such as chili powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and ground ginger held their flavor through baking (unlike more subtle spices like paprika and onion powder, whose flavor faded).
- 5 cups Corn Chex or Rice Chex cereal
- 2 cups Corn Pops cereal
- 2 cups popped popcorn
- 1 cup CornNuts
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 250 degrees. Combine cereals, popcorn, and CornNuts in large bowl. Whisk butter and syrup in small bowl, then drizzle over cereal mixture. Sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper and toss until well combined.
2. Spread mixture over rimmed baking sheet and bake, stirring every 15 minutes, until golden and crisp, about 45 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Serve. (Mix can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.)