I don’t know about you, but I do a lot of snacking around Halloween. I like to have a big stash of snack foods so that I have something to munch on while I’m passing out candy to trick-or-treaters, and lots of finger-food options for entertaining friends and family. This Candy Corn Chex Mix is the kind of snack food that is something of a guilty pleasure right now – and a treat that I would have absolutely loved to indulge in growing up.
The sweet snack mix starts with Rice Chex cereal and I originally found it on the back of the box. Back of the box recipes always tend to be fun – and I’ve gotten some classics over the years. The Birthday Cake Check Mix recipe that inspired this one called for melting together vanilla frosting, white baking chips and vanilla as a coating for the crisp cereal, then tossing the coated Chex in confectioners’ sugar and sprinkles for a treat that tastes a lot like birthday cupcakes. Popped popcorn is mixed in before serving, too.
I played around and added some new ingredients to create this Halloween version of the treat. I added candy corn to the mix and I included both mini chocolate chips and cacao nibs to add a little more dimension to the snack. The cacao nibs, which are optional, add both a bittersweet chocolate flavor and some additional crunch. The most important adaptation I made to the original recipe was to add some salt to the mix. Frosting and white baking chips (which are not real chocolate, but are easy to use here because they set up nicely at room temperature after melting) together do have a strong vanilla flavor, but they’re almost too sweet. The salt takes the edge off that sweetness and gives the mix a much more balanced – and much more addictive – quality.
I recommend preparing this the same day you intend to serve it for best results. If you need to make it a day ahead of time, don’t add the popcorn to the mix until you’re about to serve it. Popcorn tends to stale quickly when it sits out and you want it to taste fresh! And you’ll probably want to use salted popcorn for a nice contrast with the sweeter candy corn and Chex, too.
It’s easy, fun to make and will satisfy the child in you – especially if your inner child is one that grew up making a variety of homemade Chex mixes in the first place. It’s sweet, of course, but it is tasty and it works oh-so-well for Halloween celebrations!
Candy Corn Chex Mix
6 cups Rice Chex
1 cup canned vanilla frosting
1/2 cup white baking chips
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup candy corn
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
3 tbsp cacao nibs (optional)
4 cups salted popcorn (popped)
Place cereal in a large bowl.
In a medium-sized microwave-save bowl, melt together vanilla frosting and white baking chips. Cook for 1 minute, then stir, and microwave for an additional 30-45 seconds, as needed. Stir until smooth, then mix in vanilla extract and salt. Pour mixture over the Chex, stirring to coat. Stir in candy corn.
Transfer cereal mixture to a 2-gallon ziploc bag or a very large tupperware-type container with a sealable-lid (I used a large salad bowl). Add in confectioners’ sugar, chocolate chips and cacao nibs (if using), then close the lid and shake until everything is evenly coated with the sugar. Open the container and pour mixture out onto a baking sheet or large piece of parchment paper to cool and set.
Let mixture set for at least 20 minutes, then combine with popcorn and serve.