OK, this was supposed to be a recipe post with amazing photos.
I envisioned pretty little bowls filled with ingredients, kinda like my friend Karianne does over at Thistlewood Farm, even though she swears she can’t cook. And for the during shots, maybe I had in mind something like you see at Smitten Kitchen or The Pioneer Woman. And for the voila, come-and-get-it shots, I envisioned spreads worthy of FoodGawker.
But folks, my fantasy world is nothing like my real world.
What comes out of my kitchen is usually pretty tasty, but very rarely worthy of a magazine spread. And the prep certainly isn’t pretty.
In my kitchen, chaos (and Kaos — if you have a little boy who plays Skylander, you know what I’m talking about) rules. Especially when I’m making something as yummy as Candy-Coated Autumn Cereal Mix with a snacking 6-year-old as my sous chef.
You will notice there are crumbs on the counters and a ghost, too. And there’s clearly some munching going on in this photo. I had to scramble to measure out the ingredients and mix them before said sous chef snatched them for his afternoon snack.
This is a recipe that I’ve adapted from the original recipe for Halloween Chex Mix, primarily because I was too cheap to buy three boxes of Chex cereal.
Mix together 4 cups of rice and corn cereal (I used Crispix) with 1/2 cup raisins or cranberries, 2 handfuls of pretzel sticks or small pretzel twists and 1 cup of candy corn (or whatever is left in the bag after your son and husband have snacked on it for 3 days).
Measure out 3/4 of a bag of white chocolate chips in a bowl and microwave to melt.
Follow the package directions and heat at 50 percent power in 30 second increments, stirring and repeating until the chocolate has melted.
Be careful not to cook the white chocolate chips too long as they will burn and seize and you’ll have to start over. (I always have an extra bag of chocolate chips on hand whenever making a recipe like this because I’ve had the whole overcooked chocolate thing happen too many times.) Low and slow is the way to go when melting chocolate.
Once white chocolate has melted, add other ingredients and stir to coat. Work quickly to make sure all ingredients are coated with chocolately goodness.
Pour mixture onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper or parchment paper. For a festive touch, sprinkle with Halloween candy decorations or ice cream jimmies or even sanding sugar. Allow mixture to cool and harden.
My little guy is impatient, so he likes to mix up his own “autumn mix” using ingredients he lifts from my mixing bowl.
You’ll notice a lot of candy, a lot of white chocolate chips, a little cereal, a few pretzels and nary a raisin. And that’s not because he’s already eaten the raisins.
His version is good, but not as good as mine. You haven’t had candy corn until you’ve had it coated with white chocolate. They get all soft and melt-in-your-mouthy.
This is a pretty perfect snack — salty and sweet with just a little tang from the cranberries/raisins. You must try it.
I planned to pass some out to the neighborhood kids in these ghostly tins…
…but I only made a single batch so it was gone before you could say boo!
Good thing I still have that second bag of white chocolate chips and candy corn hidden away in the pantry.