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Taking the Party Mix Tradition to the Next Level

compiled by Audrey Poff

Holiday snack mixes have come a long way since the original Chex mix arrived on the scene in the 1950s. Nearly every family has their own favorite recipe that is part of their holiday celebration each year, but why have just one when there are endless possibilities? This year, Occasions put together a list of new recipes that can take any host or hostess’ party mix game to the next level. From salty and sweet to spicy with heat, there’s a mix worth adding to any holiday tradition.

Elf Chex Mix
Source: Chex.com
Servings: 31 • Ready in 30 minutes

This Elf Chex Mix is the perfect way to help spread Christmas cheer and is a great addition to a holiday movie night. With vanilla wafer cookies, tree-shaped pretzels and holiday chocolate candies, this mix will have everyone smiling.

• 8 cups Rice Chex or Corn Chex cereal
• 2½ cups white vanilla baking chips
• 2 tablespoons holiday candy sprinkles
• 1½ cups mini vanilla wafer cookies
• 1 cup tree-shaped pretzels
• 2 tablespoons holiday nonpareils
• 1 cup holiday almond or peanut M&Ms

Line two large rimmed pans with waxed paper. In a large bowl, add cereal. In a medium microwavable bowl, microwave 2 cups of the baking chips uncovered on high 45 to 60 seconds, stirring after 45 seconds, until chips are starting to melt. Continue heating in 15-second increments, until chips are melted and smooth. Pour over cereal; mix to thoroughly coat. Spread mixture in one of the pans; top with sprinkles. Cool 20 to 30 minutes or until set. Meanwhile, spread cookies and pretzels in single layer, right side up, in remaining pan. In same microwavable bowl, microwave remaining ½ cup baking chips uncovered on high 30 to 60 seconds, stirring after 30 seconds, until chips are melted and smooth. Transfer melted chips to small resealable food-storage plastic bag and cut small corner off one end of bag. Drizzle onto cookies and pretzels; sprinkle with nonpareils. Cool 20 to 30 minutes or until set. Break cereal mixture into bite-size pieces; transfer to large serving bowl. Carefully break apart pretzels and cookies, if necessary. Add to bowl; stir in M&M’s. Store in airtight container so the mixture stays crisp.

Tangy Buffalo Chex Mix
Source: yourcupofcake.com
Ready in 1 hour 27 minutes • Servings: 10
This Buffalo Chex Mix is packed with flavor. Made with buffalo wing sauce, it is tangy and sweet with a little heat.

Buffalo Sauce Ingredients
• ½ cup Frank’s Red Hot Wings Buffalo Sauce
• ½ cup butter melted
• 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
• 2 ½ teaspoons onion powder
• 2 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
• ½ teaspoon paprika
• ¾ teaspoon salt
• ½ tablespoons brown sugar (optional but recommended)

Chex Mix Ingredients
• 6 cups Chex cereal (a mix of rice, wheat and corn Chex is recommended)
• 1 cup mixed nuts
• 1 ½ cups Cheez-Its or Goldfish crackers
• 2 cups pretzels

Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine buffalo sauce, melted butter, Worcestershire, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt and brown sugar. Pour over Chex mix ingredients and stir until well coated. Pour onto a cookie sheet or roasting pan and spread out evenly. Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Stir about every 20 minutes to keep from burning. The mix will seem very soggy, but it will bake into the mixture. Let cool and serve.

Sweet Churro Chex Mix
Source: swankyrecipes.com
Ready in 23 minutes • Servings: 22
This Mexican-inspired dessert party snack mix has a buttery sweet cinnamon sugar caramel coating that will be a new holiday favorite.

Chex mix Ingredients
• 5 cups Rice Chex cereal
• 5 cups Corn Chex cereal
• 2 cups pretzel sticks
• 2 cups Cinnamon Toast Churros Cereal

Churro Sauce Ingredients
• 1½ cups packed light brown sugar
• ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter
• 6 tablespoons light corn syrup
• ¼ teaspoon plus ? teaspoon baking soda
• ½ teaspoon salt

Churro Topping Ingredients
• 1½ cups granulated sugar
• 5 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 1 cup baking caramel bits

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Prepare two large rimmed baking sheets with foil. Spray well with cooking spray. Mix together 1½ cups granulated sugar and 5 teaspoons cinnamon. Remove ½ cup cinnamon-sugar mixture for later. Mix together rice cereal, corn cereal, pretzel sticks and divide into two large mixing bowls. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup. Once the edges of the saucepan have bubbles, set timer for one minute. Pour half the mixture into one cereal mix bowl. Use two spatulas to toss together until the mixture is coated well. Repeat with the remaining bowl. Evenly spread mixtures on to prepared sheet pans. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and coat well until most of it sticks to the sticky cereal. Spread mixture into a single layer. Bake in oven for five minutes. Remove pans and toss mixture. Bake another four minutes. Sprinkle remaining ½ cup cinnamon sugar over the top of the churro Chex mix. Allow to cool slightly and gently break apart any large chunks. Once completely cool, toss with caramel bits and Cinnamon Toast Churro cereal. Store in airtight container.

Texas Trash Spicy Chex Mix
Source: theanthonykitchen.com
Ready in 52 minutes • Servings: 12
This Texas Trash party mix is made extra flavorful thanks to a buttery coating seasoned with Creole spices, Worcestershire, hot sauce and seasoned salt. It’s addictively delicious!

• 2 cups Corn Chex
• 2 cups Rice Chex
• 2 cups Wheat Chex
• 1 ½ cup Bugles
• 1 ½ cup bagel chips
• 1 ½ cup rye chips
• 1 ½ cup pretzel sticks
• 1 cup unsalted butter cut into tablespoon-sized pieces
• 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
• 1 tablespoon Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning
• 2 teaspoons seasoned salt
• 1 ½ teaspoon garlic powder
• 1 tablespoon hot sauce (optional for extra spicy mix)

Preheat oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit and have one to two large rimmed baking sheets ready. Add the corn, rice and wheat Chex cereal to a large mixing bowl, along with the Bugles, bagel chips, rye chips and pretzels. Use hands to toss until evenly combined. Add the butter, Worcestershire sauce, Tony’s Creole Seasoning, seasoned salt, and garlic powder to a microwave-safe bowl. For extra spice, add the hot sauce, as well. Heat at 30-second intervals, until melted. Drizzle the melted butter evenly across bowl of cereal mix and using hands to gently toss until everything is evenly coated. Be sure to wash hands well. Add the mix to the rimmed baking sheet in a layer no thicker than one inch thick. Use a second baking sheet if necessary. Bake for 30 minutes. Then, toss the mixture using a spatula, return to the oven, and bake for 15 minutes more. Allow to cool and serve or store in an airtight container for up to four weeks.

Almond Coconut Chex Mix
Source: tastebetterfromscratch.com
Ready in 21 minutes • Servings: 24
Made with a variety of Chex cereals, pretzels and honey-flavored Teddy Grahams, this Almond Coconut Chex Mix is tossed in a sweet syrup to make the most addicting snack mix.

• 5 cups of Chex cereals (corn, rice, wheat or a mix)
• 3 cups Crispix cereal
• 1 ½ cups whole or slivered almonds
• 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut, to taste
• 1 heaping cup of pretzel sticks
• 2 cups Teddy Grahams Honey Bears
• ½ cup butter (1 stick)
• 1 ½ cups light corn syrup
• 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
• ? teaspoon baking soda

Spray large mixing bowl with non-stick cooking spray and add all the cereals, almonds, coconut, pretzels and honey grahams to bowl. Add butter to a large saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add corn syrup and sugar and stir well with large wooden spoon to combine. Bring to a boil, stirring continuously. When the outside edges of the mixture begin to boil, set the timer for two minutes. Remove from heat immediately and stir in baking soda. Slowly pour syrup over the Chex mix and use a wooden spoon to gently stir to coat the cereal. Allow to cool for at least 10-15 minutes before eating. Store extras in an airtight container for three to four days.