Sweet & Salty Caramel Snack Mix

You can always tell when the Our Best Bites girls are stressed out because we tend to post a lot of sweets. I had excellent intentions of posting a quick and easy dinner today, but I was overcome by the temptation of Pretzel M&Ms, which are simultaneously the most glorious and the most horrific creation in the history of creations. I promise, I’ll post something healthy next week.

It seems like every fall, we start posting cereal and/or popcorn mixes. I’m not sure if it’s because of the hint of Halloween or the return of football and fall TV shows, but cereal mixes just feel right in the fall.

This one is a little different from ones we’ve posted in days gone by because it calls for brown sugar instead of white sugar. Which brings us to caramel. Which, when you combine with salty nuts and Pretzel M&Ms, leads to sad feelings when you step on the scale the next day.

First, line a baking sheet with waxed paper or aluminum foil and lightly spray it with non-stick cooking spray and set it aside.

Then, combine some graham cracker cereal (like Honey Grahams) with some honey roasted peanuts and some salted cashews or macadamia nuts in a very large bowl and set that aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar, Karo syrup, and a stick of butter (I told you this was bad) and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Continue boiling, stirring often, for 2 minutes (3 if you’re at a high elevation). When it’s done cooking, add a teaspoon of vanilla and stir to combine. Drizzle the caramel over the cereal mix and quickly stir the mixture to coat everything evenly. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking sheet and allow it to cool for a few minutes, just to a point where the candy mixture has cooled but it’s not solid. Add the Pretzel M&Ms and toss gently to combine.

Allow it to cool completely (you can even pop it into the fridge to hurry things along) and then transfer it to a serving bowl or serve individual portions in small cups or cupcake liners.

Unfortunately, we cannot be held liable for the lack of snacky self control that will accompany the presence of this mix in your house. Sorry about that.

woman in denim shirt holding a salad bowl
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. Can this be made ahead of time and kept in the freezer? I would like to pre make these for a party.

  2. I would like to say this recipe is to fault for the extra junk in my trunk. I made it a few years ago when my kids and I were on a road trip during their fall break. Now every time fall rolls around I crave it, make it, eat too much, and have a little extra junk in my trunk…. but totally worth it, I might add. 🙂

  3. Wow! This is just amazing. I have now made it three times. Two times to take for snacks to put in the teacher’s lounge. Let’s just say, I put it in there around 7:30 and it is gone by 9:45 when we go to rotation. Soooo Yummy!!!!

  4. Just made this for our Super Bowl party tomorrow. I’m excited to get snacking! It smells so good — thanks for the recipe.

    1. Butter is almost almost always better. 🙂 I personally would use butter, but I imagine it would be okay with margarine.

  5. Do you bake this at all? I have the southern living recipe it was adapted from and I notice it is baked for 10 minutes before adding the pretzels.

  6. My daughter in college just made this and put it in cute gift bags for some of her guy friends on campus. One young man told her she could make a bucket-full for him the next time, it was so good. Thanks for the recipe!

  7. I just finished making these & I ended up having to double the caramel part of the recipe. After do that my M&Ms seemed to stick better. Did I do something wrong?

  8. We finally tried these today. They were deemed great by my husband and his brother and of couse, me. The only problem was I couldn’t get the m&ms to stick much. I followed the directions. But no matter, they are still yummilicious.

  9. Sinfully good!! I can’t wait to make it again for neighborhood Christmas goodies using the Christmas pretzel shapes and Red and green M&M’s!

  10. I was so excited to make this recipe so I picked up all the ingredients to make it tonight. I followed all of the directions to a “T” but my end product is very sticky and messy. Is that how it is supposed to be? How do you serve ti out of a large bowl? Is there somethign I should have done differently? Thanks for getting back. I’m still excited to serve it this week!

  11. Can I just say this is AMAZING! Don’t make a full batch when you are alone or before your kids get home from school. Somehow it ends up eaten before anyone else can enjoy it. Yummy!!

  12. This DOES look good! I was just thinking about Chex Mix and the like earlier so it’s well timed 😀

  13. I’d love to make this. Any ideas on a substitue for m & m’s? My son is allergic to milk. I was thinking of chocolate chips but thought there might be something better out there.

  14. Quick, easy and delicious! My son was “helping” me and added some water into my pre-measured M&Ms for me, so I had to sort through and gather all the water damage-less ones, so I only ended up using about 2 cups of them, but it still looked like it had plenty! Thanks Kate!

  15. is Karo syrup… with the “pancake” syrup. Just want to save my self twenty mintues of wandering around the grocery store. Thanks!

    1. Yep! In fact, I always think it’s going to be in the baking aisle and have to remind myself it’s with the pancake syrup! 🙂

  16. A great snack for a game night, football party or when you have company visiting and want to set something out. I love the idea of individualizing them into cupcake liners. Anything for portion control, ha!

  17. This looks delicious, but does it keep well for a few days or do you have to eat it all that day?

    1. Definitely good for a few days. At first, it’s kind of gooey, which is awesome, but even though the texture kind of changes, it’s still DELICIOUS. 🙂

  18. Definitely making this when we fly to Disneyland in a few weeks! Perfect to snack on during our little adventure!! By the way, love your blog and cookbook! Plan on getting your book for many people for Christmas this year!

  19. Made this version, then had to make another batch but ran out of the M&Ms. Added in regular pretzels and candy corn and it was really good too, and seasonal. I think you could throw just about anything in here and it would taste fantastic!

  20. I think you maybe need a warning sign in capitals for this mix. It is really good, thank you I think, my pant size may have just gone up. Love love your blog, it’s so much to read and so many wonderful things. You guys are great keep up the amazing job. Thanks for sharing your lives with us!