We were invited to a "cookie swap" last week at Serious Eats. I'm not a baker, so I thought about making some sort of non-oven treat. I came up with a new concoction that I'm quite proud of, and thought I'd share it with you here. This bar combines sweet and savory... during the summer we love dreaming up ways to combine salty toppings with chocolate ice cream, so this dessert continues in that vein.
Chex Mix/M&M bars
I use a slightly personalized version of the traditional Chex Mix recipe. Mostly I tried to make it less salty, but I also swap the cereals around a bit. Be creative. You could also buy pre-made Chex Mix, but I find the sodium levels in that stuff to be higher than I like.
3 cups Corn Chex or Wheat Chex cereal
3 cups Rice Chex cereal
3 cups Multi-Grain Cheerios cereal
2 cups mixed nuts (I used Planters with sea salt)*
1 cup bite-size unsalted pretzels, broken up into small pieces
6 tablespoons butter or margarine
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
2 (15 oz) packages of marshmallows
6 tablespoons of butter
1 lb M&Ms (seasonal colors, if you can find ‘em)
Heat oven to 250. Place 6 tablespoons butter in a large roasting pan, and place it in the oven to melt. Find a BIG bowl to combine the dry ingredients. Once the butter has melted, mix the Worcestershire and seasonings into it. Add all the dry ingredients and toss them until coated by the butter mixture. Bake for one hour, stirring the ingredients every 15 minutes. After cooking, spread everything on paper towels until it has cooled.
Coat a 9x13 pan with cooking spray. I also use a piece of parchment paper on the bottom.
In a large saucepan melt remaining 6 tablespoons of butter and the marshmallows over low heat. Once thoroughly melted and combined, remove from heat. Toss the Chex mix into the marshmallow mixture, then add M&Ms, NOTE: The M&Ms will now be a little warm and therefore easy to smash. Be as gentle as you can with the ball of stuff, and know that you’re going to have a few crushed M&Ms.
Use a piece of wax paper to push the goo into your pan then let cool. If you used parchment paper in the pan, you should be able to flip the pan over and dump the dessert-brick out before cutting it—that will save you from scraping up your pan. Cut into bars.
Photo by courtesy of Robyn, aka "The Girl Who Ate Everything."
*This kind of mixed nuts has whole Brazil Nuts in the can, and since those are too big to put in the bars, I picked them ate out and ate 'em while I worked.