Caramel Covered Pirate’s Booty Snack Mix

Pirate's Bootie IntroWhen my Grandfather was younger, he spent some time living in Austria, Switzerland, and Germany.  When I was a little girl, he and my grandmother lived in Switzerland, and hence that culture became a big part of our lives.  My brothers had tiny lederhosen and I spent many a day in little wool sweaters embroidered with edelweiss and in dresses like the one below (with my Aunt Barbara, don’t we look smashing?)  I also developed an affinity for Lindor Balls at a very young age.  I named all of my girl stuffed animals Greta and all of my boy stuffed animals Hans.  (Don’t ask how I knew which ones were girls and which were boys. )  And I still have vivid memories of my Mom, sitting on the family room couch with me fresh out of the bath and in my warm pajamas, turning the pages of my favorite book, “Heidi.”  I loved that book.  I wanted to be Heidi.  I Swiss Clothesfell in love with that magical place and dreamed of running through the Alps with long braided hair.  That dream became a reality one summer when I was in high school and my grandparents, who no longer lived in Switzerland, took me back there with them.  We spent weeks riding trains, exploring rugged mountain sides, visiting quaint villages, and eating lots and lots of chocolate.  To experience in real life, what I had imagined for so many years in my favorite book, was truly a dream come true.

Books have this magical ability of transporting you to another time and place. I love the feeling of getting lost in a story.

 While looking for some photos of my Switzerland trip, I came across this one of my mother reading me a story when I was probably about two.  I don’t think I’d ever seen this photo before and the moment made me smile!

In attempts to limit screen-time in our house, we’ve started reading longer books to our kids.  Our older two boys are at a good age now where they can actually sit and listen so our bedtime routine these days involves me taking care of the crazy three year old so the big boys can listen to their Dad.  Listening to Dad read isn’t difficult because he is the best story teller.  He’s got the gift of accents and has a special voice for every character.  After falling in love with Harry Potter, we’re starting the classic Treasure Island with a theme my kids never tire of: Pirates.

Pirate Boys

Some other trends have come and go in our house, but swash-buckling pirates is one that sticks around.  I see my boys on a regular basis running by with eye patches on and fake swords in their pants.  It’s a make-believe world I hope they take a long time to grow out of.

Running Pirates

With a love of all things pirates, Pirate’s Booty is a family favorite.  Those yummy cheddar-dusted puffs are crazy addicting, which is why we buy them in bulk from Costco and I hide one bag for myself.  Don’t judge.  I’ve had a recipe idea in my head for literally years, and I finally tried it out the other day, and then promptly kicked my own behind for not doing it sooner.

You’ll need some Pirate’s Booty (or something similar, see my notes in the recipe), and some pretzels, rice chex, and roasted peanuts.

Mix Ingredients

All good snacky things, yes?  We’ve got airy, cheesy puffs, the light and crispy chex, the crunchy, salty pretzels, and little hints of peanutty goodness.

Snack Mix

Wanna see how I’m going to make it amazing?  Yes, we’re totally doing this.

Pouring Caramel
A quick homemade caramel in the microwave takes all those amazing snacky things and makes them go c-r-a-z-y with deliciousness.

Caramel Covered Bootie

When it’s all mixed up, I bake it in the oven for just a few minutes to set the caramel.  When it cools, it’s crunchy and sweet.

Caramel Covered Pirates Bootie Mix from Our Best Bites

If you’ve ever had those popcorn mixes that combine cheesy popcorn and caramel popcorn, you get a little of that same thing going on here.  It’s a sweet and savory party in your mouth.

Yummy Caramel Covered Pirate Bootie from Our Best Bites

And guess what?  Kids sit even longer listening to stories if they’re eating something yummy.  True story.

Caramel Covered Pirate's Bootie from Our Best BitesMake some for your next party, or bbq, or family movie night, or reading time snack.  You’ll be the most popular person in the room- Our Best Bites Promise!

As part of Soar with Reading, JetBlue and Random House are asking children – what magical places would you like to travel to with Jack, Annie and JetBlue this summer? Kids can create their own adventure and then ask their parents to share their story here. Participants will be entered for a chance to win a $5,000 college scholarship or other great prizes.

And the most important part of the mission is to get $500,000 worth of books into the hands of children everywhere! For every sweepstakes entry, JetBlue will donate one book, up to $500,000 worth of books, to Mary Pope Osborne’s Classroom Adventures Program.  Check out the link here, and enter your adventure today!


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Caramel Covered Pirate's Bootie Snack Mix from Our Best Bites

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Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. I love Pirate’s Booty and now I’m sure the only way to love it more is to cover it with caramel. This looks delicious! Thank you!

  2. I can completely relate to your Switzerland daydreams. My dad was born and raised there and when I finally went it was like experiencing my childhood dreams!

  3. I made this today and it is delicious! Salty,sweet,cheesy and crunchy. What could be better?!
    But double the recipe because it won’t last long!

  4. I totally missed something major, here. I see blocks of something in one of those last photos, but it’s not identified. Are those caramels? It doesn’t look like it, but where is the microwave caramel? I’m lost.

  5. My boys are going to be so excited about this yummy treat! Thank you for sharing…I can’t wait to try it.

  6. At Costco look for the pecan-cashew nut crisp, in the snack isle with the other nut bags. Crunchy, sweet, tons of cinnamon! Dried PEACHES and apples. Nuff said.

    I know you are going to get 100’s of suggestions, but here is mine. I started reading the Redwall series by Brian Jacques to my boys at the same age. They are STILL obsessed with it today, at age 14.5y. Rich language, complex plot lines, real good guys, real bad guys and FOOD! Every book has several feasts, and the author always explains what is in every meal. Don’t read if you are hungry LOL. If your DH is good with voices then even better.

    1. Oh my gosh they were sampling that cashew-crisp stuff last time I was at Costco. It’s sooo good! And thanks for the book suggestion, I’m going to check that out!

  7. Looks awesome! I wonder if you could “bake” it in the microwave to harden the caramel like your awesome caramel corn recipe?

    Oh! And while you’re at Costco picking up some Pirate Booty, grab a bag (or two) of the Bare Fruit apples. They’re dried apples slices that are crunchy. I stick a few handfuls in a ziploc bag, crush them with a rolling pin and add them and some cinnamon (never measured, sorry!) to the bag with the popcorn. Then I pour the caramel over all of it and microwave like your recipe says. You should see the looks I get! Thanks for all the great recipes!!!

    1. Yep, you can totally bake it in the microwave! And I love those apples- I’m going to try them with caramel!

  8. What a great partnership for a cause with jetBlue! Oh and that snack mix looks so yummy!

  9. Yum! I’m such a sucker for stuff like this. Like, can’t control myself! I love that cheddar/caramel popcorn from Costco, so I’ll definitely have to try this!!

  10. Oh wow! I don’t think I would be able to have just a small portion of this.

  11. MMmmmm, I LOVE Chicago Style popcorn (minus the plain ol’ butter popcorn), so this is right up my alley! Going to have to make it tomorrow to take on our road trip this weekend!!

  12. So I have a disc bulge. And am in sooo much pain, today especially. BUT. I actually SAT UP when I saw that Pirate’s Booty was an ingredient in this! HAHAHAHA My favorite snack ever. Cannot WAIT to make this! Looks divine! Love you gals!

    1. Can you use just the caramel sauce and put it over popcorn and then bake it? Will it make caramel corn?

        1. Thank you…I am going to make it this weekend for our Doggies Birthday Party…Not for them, for us..they will get a Doggie Cake!! Happy Birthday to Tonka (8) and Lacie (7) our loveable Boxers.

  13. We find pirate’s booty at Trader Joes, but I wonder if you can use cheese puffs, the old fashioned kind (baked, puffy), that sometimes comes in variety packs of chips, etc.? All so bad for you but oh, so tasty! 🙂

  14. Arrgh, another sweet treat for my arsenal (or ars, as the case may be…). This looks awesome, never would have thought of adding caramel to the cheddar booty. Thanks Sara!

  15. I remember the first time I encountered this snack at an young adult’s Bible study. I thought it looked weird. But I gave it a try and my eyes widened with delight. The caramel on that puff popcorn stuff totally works.

  16. My aunt makes something similar to this with cashews and pirates booty, but the plain kind. It is delicious. This one looks so good, I love that it mixes sweet and savory. I think that it might be a good treat to send in the mail too. Going to enter the sweepstakes too, I love anything that helps children get books into their hands. Thanks!

  17. That snack looks yummy. More my favorite part of this post was getting a little glimpse of your life and childhood. I love that you shared some neat childhood pictures and memories, and some fun moments of your cute boys!