As long as there's a box of Rice Chex left in the world, making tailgating party fare is easy. All you need to decide is which sweet and salty ingredients to combine in the bowl with your cereal. In this spirited mix, the dried apples – an unusual option – give the snack a seasonal caramel apple flavor and a pleasant chewiness to balance all that crunch.
- 6 cups Rice Chex (about ½ box)
- 1 cup dried apples, crumbled
- 1 bag (11 oz.) caramel candies
- 4 Tbsp. water
- 3 cups Kroger Pretzel Haus Tiny Twist Pretzels
- 1 cup Kroger Lightly Salted Peanuts, regular or dry roasted
- ½ cup salted, hulled pumpkin seeds
- 1-2 cups mixed candies, like M&M’s, in your team colors
- Heat your oven to 300° F.
- Unwrap the caramel candies. In a small saucepan, heat the caramels and water over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture is melted and smooth.
- Spray a large mixing bowl with nonstick vegetable oil spray and fill it with the cereal and crumbled dried apples. Pour in the melted caramel and toss the mixture with a wooden spoon or a gloved hand, until the apples and cereal are well-coated.
- Spread the mixture across a large, parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes, flipping once to make sure the caramel-coated Chex toast evenly.
- Remove the sheet from the oven and let the Chex cool completely. Break up the mixture into small clusters and transfer the clusters to a serving bowl.
- Add the peanuts, pretzels, pumpkin seeds and candy to the bowl, and toss until they're well mixed.
For a nuttier variation, use 2 cups of peanuts. Add 1 cup to the cereal and apples, so they're coated with caramel, and then add the second cup along with your other add-ins. Having half the peanuts caramel-covered makes the mixture extra special.
If you have time or have eager little helping hands to keep occupied, dip thin pretzel sticks in melted white chocolate and set them aside in the refrigerator to harden. At serving time, add these to the mixture for even more delicious flavor.