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Nuts and Bolts: a party mix

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I posted this on my blog the other day, but figured I'ld copy it over here for you guys.

While this is a Christmas tradition for us, it really is a fitting Halloween/Thanksgiving mix, what with the colors.

There are several memories of making treats for Christmas from my childhood.

Namely, dipping pretzles and/or Oreos in chocolate, and making Nuts and Bolts.

Both were mildly annoying as a child. Seemed to take FOREVER. Eventually, we stopped with the dipping things. But, it just wouldn't be Christmas without Nuts and Bolts.

And, given the state of the recipe at the time, it really DID take hours. Cutting up butter into little cubes and placing it around the mixture while baking it on a low setting, stirring and adding seasoning till all that butter was melted.

It's no wonder I've never seen anything even resembling this mix in this day and age of toss in a bag and shake chex mixes. And, when mom stopped making it some years back, and I decided to start...I had to do SOME updating to the recipe, for my own sanity.

For purists out there, I have mangled the thing. For me, I've re-created the taste in about 1/6th the time. Able to whip up a batch in 30 minutes.

First thing you are going to need is a LARGE roasting pan. Mine is 18 qt, and is really too small for a full batch. Oh, I can make it work, but it makes a mess. Now, there are those aluminum disposables if you're desperate, but you can buy a roaster oven around thanksgiving for $20 or less. And they offer a way to free up your oven whilst cooking that christmas ham or turkey anyway.

Now then, the original recipe is all but unintelligable with non-existant ingredients, so I'll spare you that, and just post it as it exists today:

1 LARGE bag of Cheetos PUFFS (the crunchy wont work!)
2 bags of Bugles (If unable to find, Fritos work as an adequate substitute)
1 LARGE box of ORIGINAL Chex
2 pkg of Pretzles, I prefer the asthetics of sticks myself...
1 can of peanuts
1 can of cashew halves
1 can of mixed nuts **as long as we're adding the peanuts and cashews, spend a bit more and get the mixed nuts that are not full of peanuts and cashews, eh?

3/4 lbs Butter

1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp marjoram
1 tsp Savory
1 TBL Beau Monde (THIS is only made by Spice Islands brand. If unable to find this, search "beautiful world spice" into google for alternatives. )
1 TBL Hickory Smoked Salt (This can be difficult to find outside of the BBQ season)

*An UnOrthOdOx special* I don't find this is enough seasoning for my taste, so I have taken to using the highly scientific method of using heaping measuring spoons of the above instead of level when measuring my spices.

Mix all the seasoning together into a bowl.

Add the following, IN THIS ORDER to the pan.

1 bag pretzles, 1/2 the chex, 1 bag bugles, 1/2 the cheetos, repeat, place nuts on TOP.

In a seperate dish, toss that butter in the microwave and melt it.

Now drizzle a little butter over the top, be sure to get the nuts, then sprinkle the seasoning, stir and repeat until all butter and seasoning is gone. Toss in the oven at 200 degrees for 25-30 mins or until everything is nice and warm/hot but before burning the cheetos (they will burn first)

Presto! Best party mix out there.

And, as making it the other day, it struck me just how much it fits with the fall holidays, what with the wonderfull fall colors
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· Valkyrie Of Halloween
2,436 Posts
Plus who doesn't put the bugles on their fingers for claws?
Great recipe! Different than the one I've seen. Sounds much tastier, better spice choices imho.

I'd love to know the "lost" ingredients that you didn't post. I'm nosy like that!

· Valkyrie Of Halloween
2,436 Posts
Realize that this was my Great Great Grandmother's recipe....

But, Ok.

The ORIGINAL recipe had the primary ingredients as:

1 Box Daisies
1 Box Whistles
1 Box Bugles
2 bags pretzles

In talking with my Grandmother, Daisies were a "kind of cheese cracker". I have tried Cheez Its and various other cheese crackers in here, but the Cheetos seem to be everyone's favorite. I personally thought the Cheez Its were great. Cheese balls would also be a natural fit.

Whistles are the irreplaceable item. My grandma says they were stick shaped, she's not sure what they were made from, but they actually whistled when you blew in them. Chex were not chosen at random though. The philosphy in making a mix is to include 3 grains. With Wheat and Corn covered, Rice was the easy way out. Thus the chex. I've always wanted to try some rye chips like some of the storebought mixes use, but have never seen them for sale seperately.

But, as a SUPER SECRET alteration my immediate family (my wife and kids) enjoy...Delete 1 bag of Bugles and 1 bag of Pretzles, but leave everything else the same. Spicier, and more cheetos and nuts per handfull. My mom gets mad at me for altering anything though, so we don't pass that around too publicly.
A girl I work with has her grandmother's chex mix recipe and makes it every year to apparent raves. Personally it tastes like all the rest to me, in other words classic chex mix. Not that there is anything wrong with that! :D
But the cool part is that the item's prices accompany them! A box of chex was 15cents. How cool is that? She laminated the handwritten recipe.
Isn't that cool?
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