I show the strawberries being baked along with the mix in these photos, but after making it a few times I found that I definitely prefer them added afterward... they get a little burnt when baked too long, and the maple-butter mix doesn't really add much to them.
You'll start by heating your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit... if your oven runs hot turn it down a bit lower. Mix together your desired Chex cereals- I used 5 cups each of rice and corn, and 2 cups of wheat. Next, add some pecans. I like to lightly crush some and leave some whole. I used a cup and thought it was perfect, but my husband prefers it with fewer pecans.
In a separate bowl, add 1/2 cup (1 cube) butter and 1/2 cup maple syrup.
Sprinkle on some nutmeg... I went with 1/4 teaspon.
and melt it all in the microwave, about 1 minute 30 seconds on 50% power for me, but that will vary depending on your microwave. If you don't have a microwave melt it over low heat on the stovetop, just be careful not to burn it. Avoid overheating it either way... maple syrup foams up like crazy when it gets hot, and you'll have a giant mess on your hands. I've accidentally boiled maple syrup too many times to count.
Pour this delicious mixture over your cereal/nut mixture while stirring:
Mix it up really well until everything is nicely coated. I used a spatula for this batch since it was for the baby shower, but it is much, much easier to use your hands. Just be prepared to wash them when you are done!
Pour it all on a cookie sheet, the largest you have:
Bake it for 45-50 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. When it no longer feels wet it is done, even if it isn't quite as crispy as you expected. It crisps up more as it cools. Finally, add 2 cups of freeze-dried strawberries, or more up to 4 cups, and serve.
Here is the recipe all in one place:
Strawberry-Maple Chex Mix
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 45-50 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Yield: approximately 15 cups
- 5 cups rice Chex cereal
- 5 cups corn Chex cereal
- 2 cups wheat Chex cereal
- 1 cup pecans, partially crushed
- 1/2 cup salted butter
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 cups freeze-dried strawberries
- Heat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Mix cereals and pecans in large bowl.
- In separate bowl in microwave or pan over low heat, melt butter, syrup and nutmeg together, do not overheat.
- Pour syrup mixture over cereal mixture while stirring. Mix well, until cereal is completely coated.
- Pour onto large baking sheet and bake 45-50 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes, until cereal is dry to the touch.
- Mix in freeze-dried strawberries and let cool before serving.
- Can be stored in airtight container at room temperature for 2 weeks.
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