Monday, November 24, 2014

Kentucky Bourbon Bacon Chex Mix

Sorry for the break everyone.   A friend of mine just asked me for this recipe that I made last year at my friend’s Urban Family Thanksgiving Party last spring and I had started a post and then never posted it.  So here it is.  

In case you are wondering, Urban Family Thanksgiving is basically a replay of Thanksgiving only with the family you choose and food options that are either family favorites or something untraditional.  I settled on this Chex Mix recipe as an appetizer because Bourbon and Bacon should show up to every family gathering.  Right?

Of course I didn’t totally follow the recipe (shocker, eh?) and I made 3 batches which took me 3 hours because I only had 2 pans.  (Santa are you listening?)  

Here is the original recipe from General Mills:
Kentucky Bourbon Bacon Chex Mix®
1  bag (15 oz) Chex Mix® traditional snack mix
1 cup pecan halves
½  lb bacon (6 to 8 slices), crisply cooked and crumbled
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup butter
¼ cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons bourbon
¾ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • Heat oven to 300°F. Line two 15x10x1-inch pans with foil. Spray foil with cooking spray. In large bowl, mix snack mix, pecans and bacon. Set aside.
  • In 2-quart saucepan, heat brown sugar, butter and corn syrup over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until bubbly around edges. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally; remove from heat. Cool 2 minutes. Carefully stir in bourbon and chipotle chili powder. Pour over snack mixture; toss until evenly coated.
  • Spread snack mixture on pans. Bake 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, to caramelize mixture. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Break into pieces. Store covered in refrigerator.

Miko can smell the bacon

The original recipe is very good.  I had some when I did the cooking day and General Mills and fell in love with it.

I kind of changed the whole thing with my version.  The original recipe uses the bags of Chex mix and I wanted to go more from scratch.

This is what I did. I bought:
  •  Corn Chex Mix
  •   Rice Chex Mix
  •  Bacon (2 packages already cooked; cheating I know but I didn’t want my house to smell like bacon)
  • Pepitas (I thought since it was Thanksgiving I should use pumpkin seeds instead of pecans)
  •  Slivered Almonds – I had some in the cupboard so I added those as well
  • Bag of pretzels – I threw the bag around and stomped on it to break up the pretzels
I tripled the “sauce” recipe/ingredients from the original recipe.  Lots of butter and brown sugar and corn syrup!   Oh, and a touch more bourbon and plenty of cayenne - you know I can’t resist booze and spice.  

Miko won't guard the door, but she will guard the Chex Mix

Because I didn’t use the prepackaged Chex mix, I needed to turn up the heat and leave the mix in longer.  This took some time to play with but I landed on 375 for about 25 minutes. I took it out and stirred/mixed it 2-3 times in that amount of time.  You want to make sure to brown and caramelize it a little bit.  
The Mix was a Big Hit!
I would definitely make it again but I would probably use pecans instead of the pepitas because the flavor was so mild that you didn’t really taste the pepitas as much.  It definitely needs something bolder.  I would also use more bacon.  Because you can never have too much bacon, right?

Had to show a photo of the CRISPY deep-fried turkey.
Don't worry, it was still good.  And there was another one in the oven

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