A few weeks back, our recipe for Caramel Cashew Shortbread Squares was randomly picked up by Betty Crocker’s Facebook page. Huge spike in traffic, the most traffic we’ve ever received to our site. We were stoked. Of course, it all dropped off the next day, but for a thrilling moment it was cool to see so many people stopping by to check out something we’d done.
Up until then, I’d never really given Betty Crocker’s website much thought. Since we cook a lot from scratch and rarely bake and they make a lot of convenience products especially tailored to baking it never felt like there was much of a match to be made. But while searching it on a whim the other day before our camping trip, I came across their recipe for Kentucky Bourbon Bacon Chex Mix®. We never really leapt onto the bacon craze, but with an impending male-dominated camping trip, where could I possibly go wrong with a snack that contained both bacon AND booze?
Adapted from Betty Crocker
7 ½ ounces Corn Chex® Cereal
7 ½ ounces Honey-nut Chex® Cereal
1 ½ cup pecan halves
½ pound bacon (6-8 slices), crisply cooked and chopped
½ cup packed dark brown sugar
2 cups pretzels (we used the sticks)
1 cup unsalted roasted peanuts
½ cup butter
¼ cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons bourbon
1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1. Heat oven to 300°F. Line two 15x10x1-inch pans with foil. Spray foil with cooking spray. In large bowl, mix chex cereals, pretzels, peanuts, pecans and bacon. Set aside.
2. 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, chipotle chili powder and cinnamon. Pour over snack mixture; toss until evenly coated.
3. Spread snack mixture on pans. Bake 15-25 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, to caramelize mixture. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Break into pieces. Store covered in refrigerator.
Chex Mix® is always a staple on our overnight and weekend camping trips. It’s easy to make, it keeps well, and doesn’t require any preparation. However, this recipe is a little different than our others. First, it has meat in it. If that skeezes you out, I’d skip this recipe. However, if you don’t mind it, and you like your breakfast bacon served with a little pancake syrup, then this recipe is definitely for you. It seriously tastes like breakfast — if your breakfast includes a shot or two of bourbon. Typically, most of the flavoring in our Chex Mix® recipes comes from powdered seasonings. The flavor in this recipe however comes from caramelizing several ingredients. The consistency of the final product is therefore more of a coated, sticky brittle that you eat in clumps rather than individual pieces.
Each piece is a little salty and sweet piece of heaven, at least that is what I gathered from the few small hand-fulls I managed to get away from the guys.