A Highly Addictive Christmas Cereal Treat
Several years ago my best friend’s mother gave me a bag of this mix. From my first fistful to my last, I cannot stop reaching back into the bag for more until it is all gone. Of course my family had to have the recipe and ever since then we have made it a part of our family Christmas tradition. Back then my friend and I called it “cereal treat” because we were in elementary school, but as the years of naïveté have worn off, I am now taking the liberty to rename it CHRISTMAS CRACK! This treat is great for small christmas giveaways and I have even included a customizable label with instructions at the end. Another great thing is that this crack is gluten free. Originally, the recipe called for Crsipix, but since then I have changed it to Rice Chex so that even my food challenged friends can enjoy.
Now before you start, I do have to warn you of a couple things:
- You will need a very large bowl or a chaffing pan.
- This recipe fills about 15 sandwich bags.
- I have considered naming this mix “Heart Attack Crack” because it calls for a pound of butter.
- This is delicious and you should have an intervention plan if it becomes necessary.
- Calories don’t count during the Christmas season.
You have been warned, so let’s get started. First preheat your oven to 225 degrees Farenheit. First you’ll need to make 2 quarts of plain popcorn. If you don’t have a whirly pop you can follow the following directions for how to make popcorn in a brown paper bag. Do not add any seasoning. You will need to pop about a 1/2 cup of raw popcorn in order to make 4 quarts of popped popcorn.
Combine two boxes of Chex, 4 quarts of popcorn, and a 1/2 pound of pecans. If you don’t have a large enough bowl to fit everything, you can divide the mixture between two chaffing dishes.
Next you will need to make the caramel syrup. In a saucepan combine one pound of butter, 3/4 cup corn syrup, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 2 cups brown sugar, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. Okay, I know your eyes are rolling in disbelief. Your hands are probably frozen with a stick of butter in shock. You’re just gonna have to do it. The Crazy Dorm Chef says it is okay. If you think about it, all of this delicious-ness is potentially being distributed across 15 bags, so it really isn’t that bad. Well as Nike says, “Just do it”.
Once you get over your shock, combine the ingredients over a medium heat until the mixture is smooth and glossy.
Pour the caramel mixture over the Chex mixture and lightly toss them together using two spatulas. Next you are going to fill a pan with a SINGLE LAYER of the crack mixture. If you fill a pan with much more, your crack will not dry properly. Put the pan into the oven for 1 hour, stirring every 15 two evenly distribute the caramel. After an hour let the crack cool completely and in another pan start baking the next batch. Do this until all of the crack has been dried. I was able to dry all of the crack in 3 batches.
Congratulations, you have just completed making your Christmas Crack. By all means feel free to horde it. My now you have probably learned how addictive this stuff is. But if you decide to give it away, here is a fun and easy way to package it up for friends and family.
You will need 15 sandwich bags and 15 labels. Fill each bag with about 1 3/4 cups of Christmas Crack.
Next cut out a label and fold it in half. You can download the pre-made labels HERE. Once you download the Word document label replace the “YOUR NAME HERE” with your own name. Print the labels on colored card stock.
Take the folded label and place it over the bag seal and then secure it with staples. Cute ain’t it? Now you have 15 giveaway bags for stocking stuffers, friends, and family. I like to keep a couple on hand to thank security guards and professors.
- 2 Boxes of Rice Chex
- 1/2 lb Pecans
- 4 qts Popcorn
- 1 lb Butter
- 2 c Brown Sugar
- 3/4 c Corn Syrup
- 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- Preheat oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Combine the Chex, pecans, and popcorn
- Combine the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, baking soda, and vanilla extract in a saucepan over medium heat until the caramel mixture is glossy and smooth in consistency.
- Lightly toss the Chex and caramel mixture together until well combined.
- Fill a pan with a layer of the Christmas Crack mixture and dry for an hour in the oven stirring it every 15 minutes to evenly distribute the caramel.
- Remove the Christmas Crack from the oven and let cool completely before packaging or eating.