Buttery and sweet with a crispy and crunchy texture my homemade Salty Sweet Caramel Snack Mix is perfect for snacking on yourself or sharing as a gift!
Remember caramel covered popcorn that you enjoyed as a child? This homemade caramel snack mix is very similar and oh so yummy!
What’s not to like about caramel desserts, it’s butter and brown sugar? Mix this caramel goodness with popcorn and it makes a great snack. Mix it with popcorn, crunchy cereal, peanuts, and salty pretzels and it’s major!
Salty Sweet Caramel Snack Mix
If you look at this recipe and see that it involves making a caramel sauce, then you think, ‘I can’t do that’ well, think again. It’s true that some candy making is difficult, but I’m not about difficult. I tell you precisely what to do and it’ll be easy peasy!
On the bright side, the caramel is the only thing you have to cook for this recipe! Well, you do have to microwave popcorn, but my nine-year-old does that daily so it’s no biggie.
I used one bag of Orville Redenbacher Simply Salted popcorn, dry roasted peanuts, pretzel twists, and Kellogg’s Crispix cereal. It has toasted corn and toasted rice combined so you don’t have to purchase two separate varieties of cereal.
Salty Sweet Caramel Snack Mix Tips
To prepare, pop the popcorn per the package instructions. A very important tip, pick through the popcorn and remove any un-popped or small hard kernels before proceeding. Next, you’ll simply put the popcorn, pretzels, nuts, and cereal is a large bowl. The bowl needs to be large. It needs to have plenty of extra room to stir and combine the ingredients after the caramel is added.
Before you start the caramel, measure all the ingredients. You’ll need a large 2 or 3-quart pot and either a wooden spatula or a silicone, high-temp spatula to stir the mixture with. You’ll also need a timer, but your watch will work. You just need to time 3 minutes pretty accurately.
Heat the pot on medium-high and add the butter. As the butter melts add the brown sugar and corn syrup. Cook and stir, cook and stir until the mixture comes to a boil. This will take about 5 minutes. Continue to cook at a low boil for 3 minutes; start timing when the mixture begins boiling! After 3 minutes, remove from heat and stir in the baking soda.
Pour the mixture over the popcorn mixture in your large bowl. Stir until evenly coated. Spoon onto a large sheet pan. I used two sheet pans and spread the mixture in a single layer. I also spread parchment paper on the sheet pans so cleanup would be easier! Bake for 25 minutes in a 300-degree oven. Allow to cool before breaking apart to serve.
Salty Sweet Caramel Snack Mix
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup packed brown sugar you can use light or dark brown sugar
- 1/3 cup corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 bag no butter microwave popcorn will yield about 5 cups popped
- 3 cups miniature pretzel twists
- 2 cups dry-roasted peanuts salted or unsalted
- 2 cups rice and corn cereal squares*
- Pop popcorn according to package instructions.
- *Remove any un-popped kernels before proceeding.*
- In a large bowl, add popcorn, pretzel, peanuts and cereal.
- In a heavy 2 or 3 quart pot, melt butter. Add sugar and corn syrup. Stir constantly until mixture boils. Cook stir constantly 3 minutes.
- After 3 minutes, remove from heat and add baking soda. Stir until combined.
- Pour caramel mixture over popcorn mixture, stir to coat completely.
- Spread popcorn mixture on a sheet pan and bake 25 minutes at 300 degrees.
- Remove from oven and cool. Break into clusters and enjoy.
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