The inspiration for this creation was traditional Chex Mix, of course, but also a popcorn mix that's sold at my local farmer's market. That mix includes a spicy cheese popcorn mixed with caramel corn. I don't buy it often, because I devour it way too fast.
Chex Mix can be spicy, but I thought that the addition of cheese and sweetness would make it unbeatable. Turns out I was right.
The mix of sweet toffee-coated nuts, spicy buffalo flavored nuts, crunchy buttery toasty cereal, all coated in salty savory cheese powder makes perfect snack mix.
Cheese powder can be found online from spice shops, or from companies that sell popcorn supplies. There is also a cheese-flavored popcorn topping that you can find at grocery stores, but I don't recommend it - it can be way too salty, well before you taste enough cheese.
Even so, taste the cheese powder before you start. If it seems salty, you can skip the salt in the recipe and keep the saltiness in mind as you add the cheese powder.
The nuts I used were from Truly Good Foods supplied to me via 37 Cooks for a blogging challenge.
Cheesy, Spicy, Sweet and Nutty Snack Mix
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
Pinch of garlic salt
5 cups Chex cereal (mixed or all one type)
1 cup Cheerios cereal
1 cup Buffalo Nuts
1 cup Butter Toffee Peanuts
1/4 to 1/2 cup cheese powder
Put the butter on a large sheet pan and place it in the oven while you heat it to 250 degrees. When the butter is melted, add the worcestershire sauce. Sprinkle on the salt, onion powder, and garlic powder so it's fairly well evenly distributed.
Add the cereals and stir and toss to coat the cereal with the butter and seasonings.
Place the pan in the oven and cook for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
After 45 minutes of baking, add 1/4 cup of cheese powder and stir. The cheese will stick to the cereal. Add more cheese powder, if desired. I added another 2 tablespoons and I was happy with that, but more would not be terrible, either.
Add the nuts and stir to combine.
Cook an additional 15 minutes, then remove the pan from the oven and let the mix cool before storing.
This makes about two quarts worth of snacks, which is fine for family use, and it's simple enough to make again and again and again and again whenever you want more.
But if you're making this for a party, I suggest doubling or quadrupling the recipe. It will disappear pretty quickly in a setting where people are nibbling.