Kitchen Confessions: Shannon’s holiday snack mix

The best gifts are made by you

What you are about to read may freak you out: you have barely three weeks left to get your act together and organize some sort of “holiday offering” for your loved ones, coworkers, mail carrier, teachers, etc. It’s that time of year when we stress ourselves out trying to find the perfect gift for the people in our lives … including the ones we haven’t seen or talked to since last holiday season! Even buying gifts for the people you see and talk to every day can be laborious and taxing!

These days, most of us already have the things we need, and when we need something, we just go out and buy it. How many times were you asked over the course of the Black Friday weekend “who are you buying for today?” just to be silently embarrassed that you were actually just buying for yourself! Okay, I’m not here to judge anybody, including myself, but I want you to know that I’ve got you covered this season.

Rather than spending a bunch of money on gifts that may end up being re-gifted, why not make something that will you know people are going to like – even better LOVE – a gift that shows you actually took some time and made an effort, and put a little bit of your heart into it. How about making a big batch (or two) of my Holiday Snack Mix? I honestly get asked for it every year! Probably the most fun part of it every year is packaging the mix for giving, because that’s where all the creativity comes in – there are so many cute little boxes, bags and containers available these days, and can fit any budget or style.

With a little foresight, the ingredients also are customizable, depending on any food intolerances or allergies; for example, a lot of the items come gluten-free nowadays, or you could omit the peanuts if you know someone is allergic! Make a list before you head out – but start collecting your ingredients stat because there is nothing worse than having to go on a Chex Mix/Bugle hunt the week before Christmas!

Shannon’s Holiday Snack Mix

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup melted butter
  • 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 3 large cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tbsp* Louisiana Hot Sauce, Sriracha Sauce or Chili Garlic Paste (*add more if you like spicy, or omit completely for a tamer version)
  • 6 cups Bugles (start hoarding bags of these now!)
  • 4 cups Cheeze-its or Goldfish Crackers
  • 6 cups Cheerios
  • 6 cups Crispix cereal (Shreddies could also be substituted)
  • 6 cups mini pretzels or sticks
  • 2 cups dry roasted peanuts
  • Preheat oven to 225 degrees. In a glass bowl, melt butter in microwave. Add the Worcestershire, onion powder, garlic and hot sauce. Set aside.

In your biggest roaster, combine all of the other ingredients. Pour the butter mixture over top and gently stir to combine. Shove in the oven; take out and stir every 15-20 minutes for about an hour and a half, maybe more if it seems like it needs to dry out more. Remove from oven and let cool completely. The mix can be stored in an airtight container or storage bags for about two weeks and then packaged up pretty before you do your gift-giving rounds. Prepare yourself for a lot of positive response this year, and be happy knowing your gift won’t end up in the staff gift exchange next year!

Shannon Yacyshyn is a recovering food blogger (the original Red Deer Foodie) who is passionate about trying new ways of cooking healthy foods in her kitchen.

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