Halloween Chex Mix with Candy Corn and Salty Maple Peanuts
I’ve never been particularly adept at fall décor, a hypothetical character flaw that I didn’t consider an actual character flaw until we moved to the suburbs, where I noticed that ours was the only home without the display of a pumpkin, harvest-esque wreath, or similarly-minded piece of Pottery Barn paraphernalia. I still have yet to invest in a decent welcome mat (autumn-themed or otherwise), but I’m hoping that a personal delivery of Halloween Chex Mix will assuage any neighborly concerns.
Walking into home décor stores makes me feel simultaneously gripped by a sudden, dire need for an 18-person pumpkin-themed tablescape and as though I might have an actual epileptic fit, due to sensory overload. Of the three times I’ve ventured into a Pier 1 in the last seven months, I’ve walked out in fewer than six minutes, empty-handed and overwhelmed.
The truth is, although the idea of filling my home with charming, seasonally-inspired decorative items appeals to me in theory (and in home decorating magazines), I simply don’t have enough personal interest to allocate my free time or wine budget to its end. I relish hosting friends, and it is important to me that our home feel welcoming and comfortable, but I’m just not at a point where I can justify buying a beaded skull candle, even if it would look kind of cool on our dining room table.
Although our home may look exactly the same in April as it does in October, I like to think my absence of seasonal décor is excused by my passionate embrace of seasonal eats. On the outside, our house appears plain and unadorned; on the inside, we are partying it up with Halloween Chex Mix. Priorities.
Aside from dark chocolate, I’m actually not a fan of most candy; I’d happily swap a jumbo bag of mini Snickers for a single sliver of mocha cake any day of the week. I do, however, have one important exception: candy corn combined with roasted peanuts. A coworker introduced me to this deadly, delicious combo six years ago, and I’ve bought myself a personal stash of candy corn and jar of roasted peanuts to enjoy in a private moment on my couch every Halloween since.
It might sound odd but the crunchy, buttery saltiness of the peanuts combined with the chewy, honey sweetness of the candy corn is phenomenal. Try it, believe it, and then hide your stash from all but those you love exceptionally…and then hide it from them too.
For today’s Halloween Chex Mix recipe, I took the salty-sweet love affair of candy corn and peanuts a step further by combining them with an array of similarly minded ingredients: sweet Cinnamon Chex cereal and golden salty pretzels. I even oven roasted the peanuts in maple syrup and kosher salt, making matters all the more additive.
I originally made this Salty Sweet Halloween Chex Mix three years ago for friends who came to visit Ben and me over Halloween weekend. It’s one of the first recipes that ever appeared on my blog, as this old cell phone photo can attest:
Although I’ve upgraded the photos, this Halloween Chex Mix recipe is just as delightful and addictive as I remembered, no corn syrup or butter required. Instead, I used an egg white (which makes for perfectly light and crunchy Chex Mix) and a touch of maple syrup. Oh, and candy corn. It is Halloween after all!
This Halloween Chex Mix makes a big batch, so feel free to take some of it to the office, serve it at a spooky soiree, or bag it up for trick-or-treaters. Or, just put it in a big container on your porch and call the Halloween décor done.
Edible Décor by Erin Clarke. Pottery Barn may have some competition.
Halloween Chex Mix
Salty and sweet Halloween Chex Mix with salted maple-roasted peanuts and candy corn. Great for Halloween parties and trick-or-treaters!
Yield: 7 cups mix
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
- 1 1/2 cups unroasted, unsalted peanuts
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (I like Grade B)
- 1 teaspoon oil (canola, extra light olive or melted and cooled coconut oil)
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 large egg white
- 3 cups cinnamon rice cereal squares (Cinnamon Chex)
- 1 1/2 cups mini pretzel twists
- 1 cup candy corn
- Prepare the Salted Maple Peanuts: Preheat oven to 250°F. In a small bowl, combine the peanuts, maple syrup, oil, and salt, stirring until peanuts are fully coated. Spread the peanuts on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper. Roast for 10-12 minutes, stirring once half way through. Remove from oven and let cool slightly, until comfortable to touch. Break apart while peanuts are still warm.
- Prepare the party mix: Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray, line with parchment paper, then coat with cooking spray once more. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg white until foamy, then stir in the cereal and pretzels to evenly coat. Spread the cereal and pretzels in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour, stopping to stir twice once every 20 minutes. Remove from the oven when dry to the touch, then let cool completely (the mixture will continue to crisp as it cools). Stir together with the roasted peanuts and candy corn, then serve.
Leftover Halloween Chex Mix can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 week.
Other favorite Halloween recipes: