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!)
Caramel Crunch Cheerios Snack Mix
- 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.