Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Cinnamon Sugar & Caramel Snack Mix


Holy addictiveness Batman.

This snack mix is good. This snack mix is great. This snack mix will make you want to do the happy dance around your kitchen as soon as it hits your tastebuds. This snack mix will make you smack the hands of all who come near that wonderful, over-flowing bowl of caramel-y goodness.

And the best part? It's super-easy to make. 


It was not singularly easy for me to make, however. I made this recipe 4 times before I figured it out. Admittedly, I'm caramel-challenged. I still have yet to make a perfect pan of caramel straight from scratch. I'm talking about the kind of caramel that is just sugar and water that you work to that point where you stir no more. It just crystallizes, and becomes perfect caramel. That takes technique. This caramel sauce is way easier, pulls the mix together, and causes the cinnamon-sugar to stick to the crackers in a way that is practically fool-proof. That is, if you don't make all the mistakes I make :)

The first time I made this recipe, I followed it exactly as is. Same with the second time. I followed the instructions precisely, but I could not replicate the results in the recipe. My caramel sauce would be nice and smooth, but then after I slathered it on the crackers and baked it, it turned into crumbles of brown sugar. I was perplexed. I was following the recipe as is, which had listed the butter as 1/2 cup and sugar as 1 cup. I eventually went with another recipe for a similar sauce that had increased the proportion of butter to sugar, with ratios of 1:1. 

Well, I just noticed today that the original recipe has been altered to increase the butter. There was part of the clumpy-ness problem. Obviously. 


But, like I said before, I'm forever having issues making caramel.

Although the recipe says the caramel sauce needs to boil for 2 minutes, I found it needed about 5. Otherwise, again, I ended up with the brown sugar clumpies. I also omitted the cinnamon and vanilla in the caramel sauce because every time I added them, the sauce went from smooth to- you guessed it- clumpy. By making those changes, I finally came up with a finished product that looked like the original recipe. 


A little more about the sauce- I've made it remarkably easy. It's just brown sugar and butter. This is easier than traditional caramel, since you can stir and you aren't looking for a specific temperature. Simply place the butter and brown sugar in a pan, bring it to a boil, boil (stirring continuously) for the 5 minutes, and voila! A simple caramel sauce for your snack mix that, in my mind, is straightforward and reliable. 

And, after smothering your crackers in delicious caramel and baking it, it comes out all golden and delectable. 


This is important- as soon as the crackers leave the oven, sprinkle them with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. The caramel must not be set in order for the cinnamon-sugar to stick to the crackers. You only have less than a minute, so sprinkle with abandon!




I can report to you all that my nieces and nephews loved this. I took it to my sister-in-law's for Easter, and the kids dug right in. Mind you, I also brought Pepperoni Pizza Dip that they wouldn't touch with a 10-foot pole. It was all about the snack mix. 

So make it for the kids. Make it for your hubby's. Make it for yourself! You won't regret it :)

Happy Hump Day!!


Ingredients (makes 5 cups):

1 (12 oz) bag of oyster crackers
1 cup butter
1 cup light brown sugar
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp kosher salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350º. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Spread crackers evenly over cookie sheet. 
2. In a small saucepan, add butter and sugar. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring continuously. Remove from heat. Using a spatula, drizzle caramel over oyster crackers. Use the spatula to thoroughly coat the crackers.
3. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. 
4. While crackers are baking, combine sugar, cinnamon, and kosher salt in a small bowl. Whisk to thoroughly mix. 
5. Remove crackers from oven, and immediately sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar. 
6. Allow tray to cool, then break into pieces. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week. 


Recipe adapted from Cookies and Cups.
Looking other simple snack ideas? Try these!






4 comments:

  1. Gosh that looks good! I don't think I'm talented enough to make it, but I might just try.

    xo

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    1. I hope you do try it Rue! I think I've worked it to the point where it's pretty easy. It's one of those recipes, where if you do everything right, it's actually pretty fast to put together --->So says the girl who had to remake the recipe 4 times :)

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  2. At first glance I totally thought this was popcorn, but I bet crackers are amazing sweetened up too!

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    Replies
    1. That's funny, after you said that, that's all I could see. LOL. But yes, crackers sweetened up are good too! Sweet and salty :) Hope you had a great weekend!

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