White Chocolate Popcorn & Pretzel Snack Mix

What do you get when you mix white chocolate, popcorn, pretzels, Chex mix and M&Ms together?  Pure deliciousness!

At the beginning of this month, one of my friends handed out a delicious popcorn, white chocolate, pretzel snack mix and I literally devoured it in about 2 minutes flat!  It was so good and I was so sad I didn’t have more (so were my kids and husband).  I asked her how she made it and she listed off the ingredients and directions and I couldn’t believe how easy it was!

I made some for my husband on Sunday night to take to work this week and hand out to his coworkers, but I made sure to make some extra for us.  I’m not even kidding when I say that you could throw this together in about 10 minutes.  It’s perfect for parties, family get-togethers, neighbor gifts or just a late night snack.

Here’s what you’ll need:

What do you get when you mix white chocolate, popcorn, pretzels, Chex mix and M&Ms together?  Pure deliciousness!

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First, grab the biggest bowl you have.  (Or four of the biggest bowls you have…)  Pop the popcorn if you didn’t buy pre-popped.  (I use this popcorn machine.)  Mix the cereal, pretzels, popcorn and M&Ms all together.  If you’re making a really big batch, you can do what my friend did and spread out a clean plastic tablecloth on the counter or table and mix it together that way.

What do you get when you mix white chocolate, popcorn, pretzels, Chex mix and M&Ms together?  Pure deliciousness!

While I’m usually an advocate for measuring, there’s no wrong way to put this treat together.  Just keep pouring and mixing until it has the right ratio for you.  I tried to put approximately the same amount of everything in each bowl.

Melt your almond bark in the microwave in a medium bowl, stirring every 30 seconds until it is completely melted and smooth.  (The almond bark I used was divided up into 12 squares and I had 4 bowls so I just melted 3 pieces for each bowl and it worked out great.)

What do you get when you mix white chocolate, popcorn, pretzels, Chex mix and M&Ms together?  Pure deliciousness!

Drizzle it over the top of your popcorn/cereal/pretzel/M&M mix and stir until well coated.  The almond bark cools relatively quickly so just keep stirring until it’s cooled and starting to set.  If you want to add some sprinkles to make it a little more festive, do so before the almond bark sets.

What do you get when you mix white chocolate, popcorn, pretzels, Chex mix and M&Ms together?  Pure deliciousness!

Let everything sit for about an hour before you start portioning it out (if you’re giving it away) or putting it into a bowl or container.  Your snack mix will be good for about 5 days or so from the time you make it.  After that, the popcorn starts to shrivel up a little and it just doesn’t taste quite as fresh.  I mean, if it last the 5 days, then you’re obviously crazy, but I won’t judge… *wink*

What do you get when you mix white chocolate, popcorn, pretzels, Chex mix and M&Ms together?  Pure deliciousness!

One thing I love about this snack is that it’s totally adaptable.  You could make it with chocolate almond bark instead.  Throw in some crushed peppermint pieces or Andes mint pieces instead of the M&Ms.  Use different colored sprinkles for holidays or seasons.  It’s just so darn good, you’ll be coming up with reasons to make it!

To give you an idea of how much I made, I used an entire 18 oz box of Chex, almost a whole 20 oz bag of pretzels, about 18-20 cups of popcorn and 1 package of M&Ms.  As I was scooping it into bag, I estimated that we probably made close to 40 cups of snack mix and I spent about $10.  Delicious and easy on the wallet!

What do you get when you mix white chocolate, popcorn, pretzels, Chex mix and M&Ms together?  Pure deliciousness!
My little helper wanted a picture with the popcorn

Also, aren’t these the cutest popcorn boxes?  The same friend who gave me this recipe owns an awesome Etsy shop where she sells these boxes as well as tons of other cute packaging for holiday treats, parties, etc.  We used these same popcorn boxes when we did our budget friendly toddler Halloween party in October.  They are fun, inexpensive and add the perfect touch.  Go check out her store for all your party supplies and I promise you won’t be disappointed.

What do you get when you mix white chocolate, popcorn, pretzels, Chex mix and M&Ms together?  Pure deliciousness!

White Chocolate Popcorn & Pretzel Snack Mix
makes about 40 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 18-oz box Rice Chex cereal
  • 1 20-oz bag mini twist pretzels
  • 1 pkg almond bark
  • 18-20 c. unsalted popcorn (popped at home or from the store, such as Skinny Pop)
  • 1 pkg M&Ms, or other small candy pieces
  • sprinkles (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl(s), or a table covered with a plastic tablecloth, pour cereal, pretzels, popcorn and M&Ms until you reach the desired ratio.
  2. Melt almond bark in a medium bowl in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth.
  3. Drizzle almond bark over snack mix and stir together until coated.  If adding sprinkles, do it before the almond bark starts to set.
  4. Let sit for about an hour until set before packaging or storing.
  5. Store for up to 5 days.

Raspberry Pretzel Jello Salad

Back when I was a junior in college, a friend invited a group of us over to his parents’ house for dinner and a movie.  This was awesome for many reasons, but the best being that his parents were providing all the food.  (When you’re a poor college student, home cooked meals are like gold.)  When it came time to eat, we formed a line and starting filling up our plates.  I came across a dish that looked like a layered-jello salad but it had pretzels in it.  Um…what?  My friend, whose parents’ house it was, saw me looking at it and said with a smile “Just try it.  It’s amazing!”  I took his word for it and scooped a medium sized portion onto my plate.  I sat down at the table and took a tentative bite and…oh my heavens!  It was seriously one of the best first bites of anything I’ve ever had in my life!  The pretzels provided a little texture and saltiness while the jello and fruit added sweetness and the middle layer of cream cheese provided a lighter texture to balance everything out.  Needless to say, I went back for seconds…and thirds.

A few days later, I was still thinking about how good it was so I asked my friend for his mom’s number so I could call her for the recipe.  After a slightly awkward introduction on my part, she was kind enough to pull the recipe out and read it to me over the phone while I happily wrote it down on a spare piece of paper.  Since then, I’ve made this recipe any time I want to add a little “wow” factor to a lunch or dinner I’m invited to.  Some people have the same reaction I did when I saw it the first time.  Others know what it is and scoop themselves a heaping portion.  But without fail, the dish is all but licked clean (not literally, thank goodness) by the end of the gathering and I have people asking for the recipe.

While not a complicated recipe, it does take a little time to prepare, mostly due to the time it needs to cool/set in the refrigerator.  (I always make it the night before the event to ensure it sets properly.)
So let’s get started:

First, melt the butter and the break the stick pretzels in half, spreading them in the bottom of a 9×13 pan.  This creates a “base” for the rest of the jello to sit on.  I just kind of pat them down using my fingers or a spatula until it is mostly covered and there aren’t any pretzels sitting on top of each other.  Then you stick it in the oven for 10 minutes at 400 degrees.  The pretzels will have absorbed the butter and this will help soften them up.  Put the pan in the fridge to cool, about 30 minutes.

Next, mix together the cream cheese, whipped topping and sugar in a medium bowl.  Mix until the ingredients are well incorporated, especially the cream cheese.  (As good as this stuff is, no one likes biting into a chunk of cream cheese.)

Once the pretzels are cool, spread the cream cheese mixture over the top of the pretzels.  I find it easiest to scoop large spoonfuls all over and then spread it around using a rubber spatula.  Do your best not to disturb the pretzels.   Put it back in the fridge for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, pour 2 cups of boiling water into the jello and stir until dissolved. Do NOT add cold water.  Put the jello in the fridge to cool.  When cool, pour in raspberries and pineapple, then stir.  Pour the jello/fruit mixture over the cream cheese mixture.  Keep in the fridge overnight and keep chilled until ready to serve.

Raspberry Pretzel Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c. butter, melted
  • 2 1/2 c. stick pretzels
  • 1 8-oz tub of whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 8-oz pkg cream cheese, softened
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 6-oz pkg raspberry jello
  • 2 c. hot water
  • 1 14-oz can crushed pineapple
  • 1 12-oz bag frozen raspberries

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Melt butter.  Pour in bottom of 9×13 pan.  Break pretzels in half and cover bottom of pan.  Place in the oven for 10 minutes.  Put in fridge to cool.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, whipped topping and sugar until well blended.  Spread over pretzels using a rubber spatula.  Put in fridge for 1 hour to cool.
  3. Boil 2 cups of water and add to jello until dissolved.  Do NOT add cold water.  Put jello in fridge to cool.
  4. When jello is cool, pour in raspberries and pineapple, then stir.  Pour over cream cheese mixture.  Keep refrigerated overnight.
  5. Chill until ready to serve.

This jello salad is perfect to take to any gathering, during any time of the year.  It’s that good and that versatile.  I hope you like as much as I do!

What is your favorite jello salad?