I was at a party once where someone served what I thought was the tastiest snack I’d ever had. I feel like that with about every new snack I try. This one was a Caramel Snack Mix and I knew within minutes of trying it that I had to make some! And of course, any time I make something myself, that means I have to embellish the recipe some too.
It’s a personal problem. I’m working through it with my therapist, Dr. Paul Weston. OK. Not really because he’s the fictional therapist from the HBO show In Treatment. But if I were to have a therapist, I would want it to be him.
He seems to be a really good therapist. Do you think he could help someone who has trouble following recipes? Our conversation would go something like this:
Marly: Dr. Weston, I have a problem.
Paul: Well, Marly, that’s what we’re here to talk about.
Marly: The recipe for this caramel snack mix only called for cheerios, but I thought it would be better with some variety. I added pretzels and peanuts. What’s a snack mix without peanuts, right? Well, then I noticed I had some roasted soybeans and I thought that “sagey” green color would be a nice addition. And then I just had to go over the top and add colorful sprinkles. You must think I’m so ridiculous.
Paul: Why do you think that?
Marly: Because it’s so, I dunno, garish to add sprinkles to a caramel snack mix, don’t you think?
Paul: [tilts head to the side while thinking] You seem to be worried about what I think. How would it make you feel if I said that I liked sprinkles in a caramel mix?
Marly: I would be relieved. Like somehow I mattered in this crazy world. Like maybe my mother loved me after all!
Paul: Good, now why don’t you tell me about your relationship with your mother…”
The part about mothers was thrown in for dramatic effect. What’s a conversation with a therapist without some dabbling of tragic parent/child relationship issues thrown in?
Maybe instead of the therapist route, I could make it a New Year’s goal to follow recipes. OK. Here goes: I vow from this point forward to follow recipes to a tee.
But how boring would that be? I think instead I’ll just embrace my creativity!
Well, I’m glad that’s done with. Now, I think I’ll make more of this Caramel Snack Mix. Except this time maybe I’ll try adding popcorn too! (I’m hopeless, I know!)
- 1 stick dairy free margarine
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup white corn syrup
- ½ tablespoon vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 4 cups Cheerios
- 1 cup Pretzel pieces
- 1 cup peanuts
- 1 cup of a favorite snack food like roasted soynuts, raisins, or even popcorn
- Sprinkles optional
Lightly grease a cookie sheet with vegetable oil spray and set aside.
Place stick of margarine in a saucepan and cook on medium low until melted. Add syrup and brown sugar and cook on medium heat 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and add soda and vanilla. Add the cheerios, pretzel pieces and nuts and stir to coat evenly.
Spread the mixture out on a cookie sheet and place in 200 degree oven for 20 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
Allow the snack mix to cool and then break into pieces by hand.
This post has been updated with new photos. Here’s one of the old photos. It’s a nice clear and colorful shot, but we wanted it in a larger size for our evolving food photography standards.