09 November 2012

Crack Snack Mix

The name doesn't do this stuff justice.  I have made two batches in the last two days.  There is about one bite left.  A generous hunk of it was eaten by your truly.  These quick and easy snacks could be the death of me.  Or at least the death of pants that will still button....If you don't believe me about how addictive this stuff is, just check out this picture.  I think the only reason there's any left is because no one wanted to be the one to take the last of it from the container.  I took care of that about 30 seconds after this picture was taken.

I went back and forth about what to call this concoction.  I was tempted to call it redneck snack mix, since it is a combination of some good ol' southern snackin' food -- Bugles and dry roasted peanuts.  Every decent Southerner has made a snack of one or both of these items at some point.  At least every one I know has.  I figured I could take these two delicious snack foods, cover them with caramel and end up with something delicious.  I was right, since it is truly quite delicious, but is also so addictive it's pretty unbelievable.  You might have to hide it from yourself.  

I'm also back on the microwave kick with this recipe.  The caramel for this is made in the microwave and takes no time at all.  It's a good thing this stuff is easy, since you might have to make it pretty often when the cravings kick in.  I'm currently resisting the urge to make another batch right now.  I only wish I were kidding about that.  I am going to have to force myself to kick the caramel habit for at least a few more hours.  I did make two batches of this stuff and I made one change between the two batches -- one batch had some ground chipotle chile pepper in it and the other did not.  There was some debate as to which is the better of the two.  The vote was pretty much split down the middle, so you can decide for yourself whether to add it or you can make two batches and conduct your own survey.  

Crack Snack Mix

1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp ground chipotle pepper (optional)
One 7.5 oz bag Original Bugles
1 cup dry roasted peanuts

In a large, microwave proof bowl, combine the brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, and vanilla extract.  Microwave on high (100% power) for 3 minutes.  Stir well.  Return the the microwave and cook on high for an additional 2 minutes.  Remove from the microwave; stir in the baking soda and chipotle pepper, if desired.  Pour the Bugles and peanuts into the bowl and stir gently until the chips and nuts are relatively well coated with the caramel mixture.  Don't worry if it's not completely coated.  Return to the microwave and cook for 2 minutes on high; remove from the microwave and stir.  Return to the microwave, cook for another 2 minutes, then remove and stir again.  Return to the microwave and cook for another 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, until the caramel is a medium-deep golden color.  Stir well, then pour the mixture out onto one or two cookie sheets.  Spread it out in a nice even layer and let it cool until the caramel hardens.  Break up any chunks and eat up.  Store in an airtight container.

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