Food & Drink

You need a monster mash-up of sweet, salty snacks for Halloween

Adding a little powdered sugar at the end gives the puppy chow a more uniform color and appearance.
Adding a little powdered sugar at the end gives the puppy chow a more uniform color and appearance. Kelli Foster

My days of trick-or-treating may be far behind me, but that doesn’t mean I'll spend Halloween without a sweet treat or two. I’ve got something far better than mini candy bars. It’s a sweet and salty party mix that includes all the high points of this sugared-up holiday. Whether you’re looking for one more snack for your party or just want something fun to nibble on while you greet trick-or-treaters, this snack mix will answer your wildest dreams of Halloween.

This is actually two recipes put together: First, you make the Dark Chocolate and Nutella Puppy Chow recipe by TheKitchn.com contributor Anjali Prasertong. If you’ve never tried puppy chow before, it will blow your mind. It’s crunchy and sweet, with just a hint of salt – it really has everything going for it.

Then you use that as a base for Halloween Party Mix with candy corn, mini peanut butter cups, popcorn, mini pretzels and Reese’s Pieces. It really offers something for everyone. And while this blend makes enough to feed a crowd, the recipe is easy to cut down, so you can make just what you need. It’s also easily customizable. Go ahead and add more of the sweets and snacks that you really love, and feel free to leave anything out that you’re not into (or swap it with something else). There’s a lot of room to really make this party mix your own.

Kelli Foster is an assistant food editor for TheKitchn.com. Email: editorial@thekitchn.com.

Halloween Party Mix

1 batch Dark Chocolate & Nutella Puppy Chow (see recipe)

2 cups salted popcorn

2 cups mini pretzels

1 cup candy corn

1 cup Reese’s Pieces

20 mini peanut butter cups

In a large bowl, mix Puppy Chow, popcorn, pretzels, candy corn, Reese’s Pieces and peanut butter cups. Toss to combine and serve immediately, or store in an airtight container until ready to serve.

Note: This party mix tastes best within one to two days of making it, but will keep in an airtight container for up to one week.

Yield: About 11 cups.

Dark Chocolate & Nutella Puppy Chow

5 cups Chex cereal, preferably corn

1/2 cup cocoa powder, divided

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon powdered sugar, divided

1/2 teaspoon salt, divided

2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

1/2 cup chocolate hazelnut spread (such as Nutella)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces

Place the cereal in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, 1/4 cup powdered sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt; pour into a gallon-size zip-top bag.

Place the dark chocolate, Nutella and butter in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30 second bursts until the chocolate and butter have melted. (If you don’t have a microwave, melt the mixture in a double boiler instead.)

Immediately pour over the cereal and stir gently until evenly coated. Transfer the cereal to the zip-top bag and shake until well-coated with the cocoa powder mixture. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon powdered sugar and shake again.

Spread onto a baking sheet and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cool completely. Puppy Chow tastes best within one to two days of making it, but will keep in an airtight container for up to one week.

Notes: Any type of Chex will work, but corn Chex has a nutty taste and uniform shape. Adding the last tablespoon of powdered sugar separately gives the puppy chow a more uniform color and appearance. Or you can simply add the extra tablespoon to the cocoa powder mixture.

Yield: About 5 cups.

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