Tag Archive: Snack

Chocolate Caramel Chex Mix + T-Shirt Giftaway

Chocolate Caramel Chex Mix

Since 2014 started, I’ve been to the gym 3 times, the grocery store once, and the kitchen to grab another handful of this Chex mix about 17 times.

Before the holidays General Mills had sent me a box of inspiring ingredients and blogger recipes including Julie’s, Caitlin’s, and my own. For a while they stumped me, but chocolate Chex and caramel candies couldn’t be passed up.

This mix has rich chocolate coated Chex, sweet powdered Chex, and white chocolate chips for a delicious trio that’s hard to beat. It’s more of a dessert but if you want to sneak a few handfuls before dinner, I won’t say a word.

Chocolate Caramel Chex Mix

Chocolate Caramel Chex Mix

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes

Ingredients(Makes about 10 cups):

  • 10 .5oz caramels(or an equal equivalent)
  • 1/3 cup chocolate spread*
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons milk
  • 4 cups Chex cereal
  • 4 cups chocolate Chex cereal
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate chips

*I used Hershey’s chocolate spread. A spread like Nutella would work as well.

Method:

  1. In a small sauce pan, melt the caramels and chocolate spread.
  2. Once the ingredients are almost melted, add in the milk and stir until it makes a smooth and shiny sauce.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together 4 cups Chex cereal and the chocolate caramel sauce until the cereal is evenly coated.
  4. Lay the Chex out in a single layer on a non-stick surface for about 20 minutes to cool.
  5. Once cooled, gently break apart the large chunks of cereal to smaller bite-sized pieces.
  6. Toss the chocolate caramel Chex with the chocolate Chex cereal and white chocolate chips until evenly mixed.
  7. Store in a sealed container at room temperature when not enjoying.

SWAGSTORE_BANNER2

General Mills, the company that makes Chex, recently opened up the “Cinnamon Toast Crunch Swag Shop” with funny merchandise and gave me 2 coupon codes for me and a reader to get a t-shirt. If you want a free Cinnamon Toast Crunch tee for yourself or a friend, comment with your favorite cereal and I’ll randomly pick a winner Friday.

Holiday Vanilla Chex Mix

Holiday Vanilla Chex Mix

I don’t know about you but I usually don’t expect to like any cereal without “Chocolate” or “Reese’s” in its name—Those are just my personal preferences. But shockingly I’ve found a new favorite that doesn’t fit into either of those categories.

I got a box of Vanilla Chex back in September when they invited me to the Wine & Food festival. Skeptical, it took me a month or so to open it, but after I did I just kept eating it by the handful. The vanilla-coated Chex are surprisingly sweet and delicious. It’s impossible to stop after just one.

After I ate half the box, I felt like I should do something with the rest that’d be more exciting than handfuls of cereal. Since it’s (already) the holiday season, what better way to use it than make holiday Chex mix? The vanilla, cinnamon, almond, and chocolate flavors blend perfectly for an addictive and delicious party snack.

Holiday Vanilla Chex Mix

This recipe has you make your own cinnamon sugar almonds but you can cut out the cooking completely by buying flavored almonds at your specialty grocery store.

Holiday Vanilla Chex Mix

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups Vanilla Chex cereal
  • 1 1/2 cups whole almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup M&Ms

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the almonds, cinnamon, oil, sugar, and water until the almonds are covered and there’s no liquid on the bottom.
  3. Pour the almonds in a single layer onto a non-stick baking tray and roast for 10 minutes or until the cinnamon sugar begins to clump on the almonds.
  4. Remove the almonds from the oven and let them cool briefly.
  5. In a clean bowl, combine the almonds, Chex cereal, and M&Ms and toss well before serving.
  6. Keep in a sealed bag at room temperature when not enjoying.

Seasoned Baked Tortilla Chips

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Do you know where you can find the best deal in New York City? It’s not in Manhattan—it’s sure as hell not in Times Square—, it’s at the C-Town grocery chain where you can get 36 corn tortillas for 99 cents. Less than 3 cents a tortilla—how can you go wrong?

I couldn’t make enough tacos and quesadillas to use these up so I decide to make nachos instead. I’ve made hint of lime chips before and these were just as easy. They have a nice subtle flavor to have on their own, but pack a real spicy punch dipped in salsa or guacamole.

The trick to getting these irresistibly crispy is leaving plenty of room for them to bake on the trays. Overcrowding a tray will make some of them chewy and others burnt, so break it up into two baking sessions if you have to.

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Baking these means they’re free of the unhealthy frying fats, which makes them perfect for smothering in healthy fats like avocado and shredded cheese(just kidding(sort of)).

Seasoned Baked Tortilla Chips

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients(Makes about 6 servings):

  • 10-12 corn tortillas
  • 3 Tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder

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Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line two baking trays with non-stick foil or paper.
  3. Cut a stack of the tortillas with a long, sharp knife across and then perpendicular, then two times on the diagonals to make 8 stacks of equally-sized chips.
  4. In a large bowl, toss the soft chips with the rest of the ingredients until they’re evenly covered.
  5. Spread the chips out in a single layer on the baking trays.
  6. Bake the chips for 10-15 minutes until slightly browned and crisp.
  7. Remove the chips from the oven. Let them cool slightly before serving.
  8. Serve with salsa, guacamole, sour cream, or dip.

Lunch Box Trail Mix

Lunch Box Trail Mix

I’m a conservative when it comes to trail mix politics. I won’t go near one at the store if it has dried pineapples or brazil nuts; I would say that even pumpkin seeds are pushing it for me. The best trail mix is the simple kind you grew up with.

This is a classic mix with a few different nuts, chocolate M&Ms and of course lots of peanuts. My 5-year old self would probably pick out the chocolate first and leave the raisins behind but I’ve come to appreciate them more and more.

Lunch Box Trail Mix Candies

Pay attention to whether the nuts you use are salted or unsalted. I’d recommend only using salted peanuts and unsalted cashews and almonds for the best flavor. Roasted nuts are more traditional but use whichever you think have the best flavor.

Lunch Box Trail Mix

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 5 cups or 20 servings):

  • 1 1/2 cups roasted salted peanuts
  • 1 1/2 cups whole almonds
  • 1 cup whole cashews
  • 1 cup M&Ms
  • 1 cup Raisins

Lunch Box Trail Mix Yield

Method:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
  2. Store in an airtight container and keep in a cool place when not eating.

Hazelnut Mocha Trail Mix

Hazelnut Mocha Trail Mix

Surprisingly for all the sweet teeth I have and my love of chocolate I’ve never been a fan of the fancy drinks at Starbucks. I love the occasional bitterness of black coffee but more often than not I’ll choose green or herbal tea, and if you try swirling chocolate syrup and whipped cream into your green tea you’ll get a few odd looks.

Chocolate covered coffee beans and the like, however, are a different story. They’re right up there with chocolate covered almonds, chocolate covered raisins, and chocolate covered everything else. I’ve never found chocolate covered hazelnuts but something tells me if I did I’d love them, too.

Hazelnut Mocha Trail Mix Yield

This trail mix hits just about every note that a good cup of coffee should. It has bitterness from the coffee beans, sweetness from the white chocolate and raisins, and a rich nuttiness from the hazelnuts and almonds. I think that hazelnuts pair great with chocolate and coffee but if you find yourself lacking them you can easily double the almonds in the recipe.

Hazelnut Mocha Trail Mix

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 3 cups):

  • 3/4 cup hazelnuts
  • 3/4 cup roasted almonds
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chocolate covered coffee beans
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Hazelnut Mocha Trail Mix Coffee Bag

Method:

  1. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix well.
  2. Store at room temperature when not enjoying.

Hazelnut Mocha Trail Mix Cup

Cape Cod Trail Mix

Cape Cod Trail Mix

New England doesn’t have a standard cuisine but it certainly could. Between the apple cider doughnuts, glazed Dunkin Donut’s munchkins with jimmies and Boston cream pies there’s a lot to love(mostly carbs).

And then there’s this trail mix. You won’t find the typical gang of peanuts and raisins; instead we have cashews and almonds with dried cranberries. White chocolate instead of milk chocolate adds a sweetness to match the tartness of the berries. The flavors are simple but purely addictive, especially paired with some local apples and Vermont cheddar slices.

Cape Cod Trail Mix Yield

You could use raw almonds but I think roasted just have such a better flavor and texture. Similarly you could use raw cashews but I think you need something salted in the recipe to add a balance to the sweet.

Cape Cod Trail Mix

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes about 3 1/2 cups)

  • 1 cup roasted, salted cashews
  • 1 cup roasted almonds
  • 3/4 cup craisins
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chunks

Method:

  1. In a large bowl, combine and mix all of the ingredients together.
  2. Keep in an air-tight container at room temperature when not eating.

Cape Cod Trail Mix Serving

All that’s missing is a bag of Cape Cod potato chips—never the baked or reduced salt kind.

Homemade Granola Bites

Homemade Granola Bite

I don’t believe that things always taste better when they’re homemade; there are plenty of things that I’d rather just buy at the grocery store because it’s easier or tastier that way.

These thankfully are one of those things that taste better made yourself and the recipe couldn’t be easier. They’re slightly soft and chewy—a perfect snack in the afternoon or something to nibble on before a workout. And because you make them yourself you can adjust the flavor to be whatever you like. Personally I’m a fan of almond butter and chocolate chips.

Homemade Granola Bite Yield

To make these gluten-free make sure you’re using oats that are certified gluten-free. Make sure to mix the ingredients evenly and well to prevent them from falling apart in the oven.

Homemade Granola Bites

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients(Makes about 14 bites):

  • 1 1/2 cups oats
  • 1/2 cup natural almond or peanut butter
  • 3 Tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips or raisins
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 250.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients until it starts to form a dough. If there isn’t enough moisture to hold the oats together, add almond butter by the tablespoon until there is.
  3. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and place them on a non-stick baking surface.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes until the outsides have browned.
  5. Let the granola bites cool and store them at room temperature for up to 2-3 days.

Homemade Granola Bite Baked

Nutella Yogurt Dip

Nutella Yogurt Dip

Nutella is one of those foods that I think everyone likes. Maybe it’s not for everyone, but it has 17 million fans on Facebook so it must feel pretty loved. I’m sure all those birthday notifications must be a bitch.

Two years ago I shared a fruity peanut butter yogurt dip recipe and since then it’s been pinned on Pinterest almost 190,000 times; who knew there were even that many Pinterest users? I’ve seen countless reviews and variations of it and this is another one to add to the list.

Nutella Yogurt Dip Nutella

Nutella isn’t exactly a health food but that doesn’t mean you have to pass up on this delicious dip. There are plenty of all-natural varieties of chocolate hazelnut spreads out there and you can even make your own. If you’re using a brand that’s less sugar-laden you might want to add a touch more honey.

Nutella Yogurt Dip

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 1 cup):

  • 1/2 cup Nutella
  • 1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons honey(optional)

Method:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Store in the refrigerator when not eating.

Nutella Yogurt Dip Fruit

Serve on fruit, graham crackers, and fingers.

Candy Party Mix

Candy Party Mix

This kind of treat has a lot of names. “Monster mix” and “Trash mix” come to mind; let’s call it a party mix since that sounds more elegant when you’re stuffing your face with candy at 8pm.

After Halloween everyone’s always stuffed with more candy than they know what to do with. This is a great recipe to use it up and have something fun and festive to put out at a party or the office. Adding some salted nuts helps to break up the sweetness and add a little crunch factor without making it into a “healthy, boring” treat.

Candy Party Mix Serving

Adapt to use what you have; swap out chocolate covered raisins instead of the almonds or use pretzel M&Ms. It’s entirely versatile.

Candy Party Mix

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes about 3 cups):

  • 1 cup salted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup chocolate covered almonds
  • 1/2 cup M&Ms
  • 1/2 cup Reese’s miniature peanut butter cups(or regular sized peanut butter cups cut into quarters)
  • 3/4 cup small Swedish Fish

Method:

  1. Mix all of the ingredients together and enjoy.

Candy Party Mix 2

You’re welcome for the sugar rush.

Peanut Butter Snack Squares

Peanut Butter Snack Bars

Every afternoon around 3pm I run into the problem of something healthy to snack on. I’d usually just prefer a bag of M&Ms and some Reese’s peanut butter cups and call it a day, but apparently that’s not good for you(who knew?). I went ahead and tried to make a healthy snack since it’s a lot easier and cheaper than finding tasty ones in the grocery store. And wouldn’t you know you can still have your peanut butter and chocolate and eat well, too?

These definitely aren’t fudgy enough to be blondies or airy enough to be cake; that’s why I’d call them “squares” and say they’re the perfect afternoon pick-me-up when you’re not sure what to have. They’re filled with whole grains, peanut butter, and low-fat yogurt so they must be a better choice than anything from the vending machine.

Peanut Butter Snack Bars Healthy

If you want to make these really healthy, swap out the chocolate chips for raisins. Then again if you want to use both I won’t tell anyone.

Peanut Butter Snack Squares

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 9 squares):

  • 1 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour(or regular flour)
  • 3/4 cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 2-4 Tablespoons water
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips

Peanut Butter Snack Bars Peanut Butter

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8×8 baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, oats, and sugar.
  3. Add in the peanut butter, yogurt, and egg and beat well.
  4. Slowly add in water just until the batter is wet enough for you to stir with a whisk or spatula to mix it.
  5. Lastly fold in the chocolate chips.
  6. Pour the batter into the greased baking tray. Bake for about 25 minutes until the edges start to brown.
  7. Let the pan cool before cutting it into 9 squares. Store sealed in the refrigerator until ready to eat. 

Peanut Butter Snack Bars Serving

After a few days these start to stiffen up. Just pop them in the microwave for 30 seconds on a low setting and it’ll be just like they came out of the oven again!