Remember the song “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music? You know the one; “raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens…” and all that? Well, it’s probably one of my favorite songs from one of my most-loved movies, and it invades my brain around this time of year. Because of this, I wrote you a very small song to the tune of My Favorite Things about this recipe. Sing it with me:
“popcorn and peanuts and cornflakes and pretzels
the cornflakes aren’t normal they’re toasted and messed with
vanilla confetti cake crumb’s in there too
this is the snack mix that I made for you
I took all the things and put them in a bowl
then melted white chocolate and poured it in slow
I swirled it and whirled it like momofuku
this is the snack mix that I made for youuuuuuu…”
That’s right, people: I took my favorite Momofuku elements and tossed them together in what I think may be the greatest salty/sweet snack mix of all time. It’s relatively easy to put together, makes an absolute ton if you want it to, and fantastic for setting here and there at parties. What’s more, it stays fresh for a good long time in the fridge, which makes it pretty great for gift-giving. Just think: you could be the talk of the family with your food gifts this year, because although they’ll understand what peanuts and popcorn and the like is, do you think they’ll have any idea how you made those cornflakes that crunchy? No, they won’t. Will they ask you over and over what those crazy vanilla cake-flavored clusters are? Yes, they will. You can spend the entire holiday season shrouded in mystery, all because of this snack mix.
But wait; did I say Momofuku? I did, but this isn’t anything difficult; it’s simply two of the mother recipes – the crunch and the crumb – baked up and throw in here with the other elements. If you’ve never made it before, the cornflake crunch is simply cornflakes tossed with some butter, brown sugar and powdered milk and baked up until it smells like warm, buttery popcorn. The confetti crumb is slightly more involved from an ingredient count, but it’s really just some dry ingredients, some wet ingredients, a spatula, and a baking sheet.
If you’re making this just for yourself, feel free to make half of the recipe: you’ll still have plenty. For big gatherings, out-of-town guests, or gift-giving, make the whole batch and either throw it in a big bowl (party application) or wide-mouth quart Mason jars (gift application) and you’ll be all set for the holiday.
I got so excited to tell you about this that I haven’t even told you what it’s like. It’s incredibly addictive: an enormously flavorful combination of sweet and salty, and it hits all the marks a good a good holiday mix should. You have a variety of texture: soft give of the popcorn, malty snap of pretzels, peanuts and cornflakes adding crunches each their own. The confetti cake crumb is superb, because it adds a cookie flavor with a solid sweetness which plays nicely with the salt off the other components. The white chocolate does a great deal of work in bringing the whole thing together: it coats the whole mess with a paper-thin but effective vanilla softness, sealing in the flavors and blending them together as one. It also gathers the whole lot up into clusters you can break into big or little pieces (once everything has chilled down), so everything sticks together exactly how you want it. My *ahem* exhaustive research seems to indicate that you’ll never get any less than 4 elements per bite, most of the time more, which means you won’t be picking around for your favorite parts; they will come to you.
I’ve had a request to post one more thing here before the holiday (aside from this.) I plan to honor that request, so I’ll leave you with this and begin writing the next one. Stay tuned for it, because if you’re interested in a cranberry + grapefruit sorbet that will blow your mind, that will be up in a few days. Until then…snack mix.
PS: I’m going to link you over to the recipes for the cornflake crunch and the confetti crumb, only because they’re done in exactly the same manner as I’ve done them in the past, except no sprinkles in the confetti crumb (unless you want them, in which case, go for it.)
Sweet + Salty Snack Mix, Momofuku’d
Makes (obviously) about 14 cups of snack mix
- 4 cups popped popcorn (I like to use a half-salt variety here, but use what you like)
- 1 1/2 cups peanuts (dry-roasted or honey-roasted work great)
- 3 cups miniature pretzels*
- 3 cups cornflake crunch (recipe linked)
- 2 cups confetti crumb (recipe linked, minus the sprinkles, unless you want to keep them in)
- 8-10 ounces good-quality white chocolate**
*did you know that – at least with Rold Gold brand which I prefer – that the fat-free “tiny twists” miniature pretzels are actually MORE miniature than the regular version? I’ve been fascinated by this for years, ever since i noticed the difference. Why would they do that? In any case, I use the smaller of the two, so the fat-free variety is what you see pictured.
**I say this because everyone has a different idea of work and also of how thick a layer they like their chocolate coating. I like to use 8 ounces, which is what you see above: it takes some patient folding/stirring to get it all in there evenly, but it’s worth it. If you want more chocolate, go for the 10 ounces.
Is it too much of a pain to link you to the crunch and crumb recipes elsewhere on the blog? I don’t normally do that, but i felt like i wanted this to be a short recipe, visually. If you hate it, let me know and i won’t do it again.
Line a lipped half sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.
Do this how you wish, but white chocolate can be finicky. I like to do this in a double boiler over just simmering water, being careful that the top doesn’t touch the water below. Stir occasionally until chocolate is completely smooth.
Meanwhile, in the largest bowl you own (or possibly two, because you’ll need stirring room; a big soup pot works well for this also), add the popcorn, peanuts, pretzels, cooled confetti crumb and cooled cornflake crunch. Toss with your hands to evenly incorporate.
Once your chocolate has melted, bring it over to your bowl of things. Be ready with a spatula, because you’ll need to work quickly. Pour the melted chocolate over top of your snack mix (or divide it up over your two bowls, as evenly as you can) and use a folding motion to incorporate the chocolate onto all the components. You don’t know what a folding motion is? Think of it like you’re sliding the spatula down the inside of the bowl all the way to the bottom, then you’re flipping it up and over, pushing it back in gently as you go. rotate the bowl a little bit, and repeat, repeat, repeat. If you have two bowls going on, do a few flips in one, then flip the other, and back and forth. Watch for straggling dry ingredients or, alternately, clumps of chocolate, and work to incorporate those as you go.
Once you’re done, spread the whole thing out on your prepared sheet pan (one half sheet pan will do it, it doesn’t have to be a single layer) and place in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes to harden. After that, break it up into pieces and store it in an airtight container in the fridge until you’re ready to snack.
It keeps for a ridiculous amount of time: as I type this, I have a few pieces of it in front of me (I’m a method food blogger), and it’s still good: I made this close to 2 weeks ago. I’d say eat it within a week, but I know you won’t get rid of it after that, so you’re probably safe (for personal use) for 2 weeks, properly stored and refrigerated.