I’ve been asked rather often whether I give out my Party Mix recipe. I’ve never been one to keep my recipes a secret. However, over and over again, I give someone a recipe and the recipient reads over it and decides that it’s too much work or too big or too fattening or too expensive or whatever.
So let me just tell you before you even begin —
THIS RECIPE IS TOO MUCH WORK, TOO BIG, TOO FATTENING, AND TOO EXPENSIVE!
There, now you know.
So you can adjust the size or skip the steps or substitute the ingredients to your heart’s content. And you might be just as happy with the results as I am with my results. I can only tell you that it has taken me years to fine tune this recipe and have it where I like it and feel good about giving it away. Maybe some of you would like to get together with friends or family members and share the ingredients. And that’s fine, too. This specific recipe with this amount of ingredients will make almost 8 gallons of party mix.
2 (12.5 oz.) boxes of Honey Nut Chex
1 large bag Bugle snacks (14.5 oz.) or 2 regular size (7.5 oz.)
4 bags (6 oz.) Caramel Sweet and Salty Bugle snacks
1 box (1 lb.) Stauffer’s Whales baked cheese crackers (or the equivalent of your preference.)
1 bag (1 pound) pretzels sticks (I like them skinny)
2 boxes Ritz Bits (7.5 or 8 oz.) sandwich crackers. I prefer to get plain Ritz Bits, but haven’t been able to find them in bulk anywhere. So, I use the crackers, (my preference is the peanut butter kind, but you can use any that you prefer. However, when I’m finished with roasting my batch of party mix, I put on gloves and literally take all the little sandwiches apart. I know! It’s hard work, but it is worth it, and it doesn’t take very long and they come apart easily while they are hot. Then the flavor of the peanut butter mixes in with the rest of the ingredients and that makes it good, too. Our daughter, Rachel, insists that I used the cheese filled ones – once upon a time and that they were “much better!” I don’t remember this and I don’t think I did. But I might just have a mental block!
3 lbs. pecans, large pieces
6 cups regular Cheerios
(I have a kitchen scales, so I do the following by weight. You can measure the amount of cups in a box and do it that way. The reason I do it this way is that I have exactly enough to do another batch when I run low from giving away so much of the first batch!)
½ box (14 oz.) Wheat Chex
½ box (12 oz.) Corn Chex
½ box (12 oz.) Rice Chex
½ large (46 oz.) can cashews
½ large (52 oz.) can large Spanish peanuts
I put all of these ingredients together in my big round storage container and toss them until they are thoroughly mixed. (I have searched for another set of these containers – originally from Sam’s Club as a set of four different sizes – and the biggest one is measured to 7 gallons, but holds a good 8+ gallons,- but I cannot find them anywhere! Not retail, not Amazon, not Ebay. If anyone know where they are available, please let me know!) After the ingredients are thoroughly mixed, I mix the following thoroughly in a separate bowl:
7 Tablespoons Lawry’s Season Salt
4 Tablespoons Garlic Powder
I sprinkle this over the container of mix, a little at a time, tossing often to distribute evenly. Then I mix the following using a whisk:
5½ cups vegetable oil
6 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
When that is thoroughly mixed, I pour it over the mix, tossing again after each cup or so until it is gone. Then I toss and toss and toss until the oil mixture is evenly distributed.
Then I take five large foil pans (mine are like 11x19x3) and divide the mix between four pans (keeping one in reserve). I have two ovens, so this is where it goes much faster for me. The ovens should be preheated to 250 degrees, with the racks spaced just far enough apart to get two pans in at once. I use two timers, and set one to two hours. The other, I set for 15 minutes. Every fifteen minutes, I take the empty pan, empty the bottom pan into the empty pan, and put it on the top shelf, and empty the top shelf pan into the now empty pan from the bottom shelf and put that pan on the bottom. I keep doing that for every 15 minutes until the two hours are up. Then I dump everything together on the table which I’ve covered with brown paper and let it cool. When it is cool, I put it back into my big old container. If I didn’t have that big container, I would put it into heavy-weight plastic bags and store it that way. You can make it a long time ahead and freeze it. (I’ve never done this, but I have an Auntie who has done this often and it doesn’t seem to lessen the quality at all.)
And that, my friends, is my Party Mix Recipe!