Maple Pumpkin Spice Chex Mix
Super easy! Super delicious!
6 cups Chex cereal (I used 3 cups each Rice Chex and a storebrand honey-nut Chex; try Cheerios, Golden Grahams, etc.)
2 cups dried fruit (I used 1 cup each dried cranberries and dried cherries; try (golden) raisins, etc.)
1 1/2 to 2 cups nuts (I used 3/4 cup each honey-roasted cashews and honey-roasted peanuts)
1 1/2 to 2 cups pretzels
1 1/2 chopped graham crackers, diced in large 1-inch pieces (about 5 full-size graham crackers)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup maple syrup (I used sugar-free pancake syrup)
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 to 2+ tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
salt, optional and to taste
- In a 5 to 6-quart Crock-Pot, add cereal, dried fruit, nuts, pretzels, and graham crackers. Recipe is very flexible. If you don't have something, don't like something, etc. use something you do have on hand or omit.
- In a microwave-safe measuring cup or bowl, melt the butter, about 1 minute on high power.
- Add the maple syrup, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice (I used 1 tablespoon but recommend at least 2 tablespoons if you want a more pronounced pumpkin flavor), vanilla, optional salt, and whisk to combine.
- Slowly and evenly drizzle wet mixture over the dry ingredients in Crock-Pot and stir very well to combine. I use a silicon-tipped spatula so I don't break the cereal.
- Cook covered on high power for about 2 hours, stirring well every 15 to 20 minutes. Start keeping a more careful eye on mix at about 1 1/2 hours to make sure pieces on bottom don't start burning. All slow-cookers and ingredients vary, and cooking times will vary. Cook until there's no visible liquid pooling and pieces have dried out. They will not be 'dry' and will be more on the sticky and tacky side even when done, but do dry out more as they cool. Note - Although I haven't tested it, you could probably bake in a 250F oven, with the mixture divided between two baking trays. Keep a very watchful eye on it and toss every 15 minutes until it's done.
- Turn mixture out onto baking tray and allow to dry for at least 2 hours, overnight is better. Mix will keep airtight for up to 5 days.