Welcome!

Welcome to Simple Fare, Fairly Simple. This is a place for me to post recipes of all kinds...along with other miscellaneous fodder from my so-called life here in the south. Who knows what you will find here. Could be anything from my husband...known as IT Guy...to my kids and beautiful grandbabies that are growing up way too fast right before my eyes. But...mostly this will be a place for food. I hope you'll see something you like and if you decide to try something from the list...leave me a comment and let me know!



Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Crack

I found this recipe not too long ago and for the life of me I can't remember where. I'm sure it was one of the cooking blogs I follow...but I can't recall which one. It might have been  www.mommyskitchen.net. She's got a lot of fun stuff over there. I say all that to say this. You've gotta try Christmas Crack!! It's so good and sure does live up to its name cuz this stuff is addicting!! It makes quite a bit...I filled up two gallon sized zip-top bags. It's great for parties...one of those things that people will mindlessly munch on while chatting or take it to a cookie/treat exchange! Adults and kids alike will love it!

Christmas Crack


1 12.8-ounce box Rice Chex cereal
1 12-ponce box Golden Grahams cereal
1 7-ounce bag shredded coconut
1 4-ounce bag slivered almonds
1 1/2 cups butter (3...yes 3...sticks of butter)
2 cups sugar
2 cups corn syrup

Combine Rice Chex and Golden Grahams, coconut and almonds in a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine.
In a large sauce pan, cook butter, sugar and corn syrup to the "soft ball" stage...about 234 degrees on a candy thermometer. Pour over cereal mixture and stir until all is well coated. Pour mixture out onto 2 large cookie sheets to cool. Stir it around occasionally to prevent clumping. Store in an airtight container.

106 comments:

  1. Looks good, will have to try! Thanks for posting

    ReplyDelete
  2. We LOVE this at our house we also add Pretzel sticks, to ours.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yum, Melia!! I'll remember that...thanks!

      Delete
    2. Do you think you could substitute broken pretzels for the coconut?

      Delete
    3. Monkey Phat....yes you can! You can add or take out just about anything YOU want!

      Delete
  3. I bet sea salt on top would be lovely!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Antoinette....I bet it would! What a good idea!

    ReplyDelete
  5. you had me at 3 cups of butter! thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, a stick of butter is 1/2 cup, so it would be 6 sticks...wow!

      Delete
    2. No it actually says 1 1/2 c. which is 3 sticks.

      Delete
  6. My husband is allergic to tree nuts so I'll be subbing peanuts when I make this... not, if, WHEN!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was thinking pumpkin seeds since my kids both have nut allergies.

      Delete
  7. Can you leave the coconut out? Or replace it with something else?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Yes, Veronica...you can. You really can mix and match anything into this.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Life cereal is really good in it too. I have also done the coconut, little mini reeses pieces. Like was said before you can add pretty much whatever sounds good at the time your making it

    ReplyDelete
  10. We're just not into almonds or coconut around here... so I'm thinking bagel chips and toasted pecan halves.

    Can you give me a sweet factor here? Because it sounds mind-numbingly sweet, like butter almond toffee, which we also don't go for much. Does the butter alleviate some of that sweet taste? I also like the idea of a very, very light dusting of sea salt before it sets.

    But if I keep going... then it's no longer Christmas Crack is it? It will become more a savory, sweet & salty snack.... although there's not a thing wrong with that. ; p

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know....it's sweet. It just is. That being said, there's no reason you can't dial the sweetness down a little and add whatever you want. As you can see...it makes a LOT. Maybe cut the recipe in half the first time. Eliminate the almonds and coconut...add what YOU like. The bagel chips and pecans sound good. The sea salt idea is cracker-jack. Oops...more sweetness! Haha.

      Delete
    2. if you search Christmas Crack in the upper left hand of your screen there are a number of variations of this wonderful snack...some covered in white chocolate with colorful m&ms, there are lots of choices!

      Delete
  11. Gold fish crackers would add that hint of salty savory, and there are so many flavors, tweak it to match your tastebuds!

    ReplyDelete
  12. So after seeing this on pinterest, I HAD to try it. It is very yummy however, it's a big gooey mess! It's been sitting out for about 4 hours now. How long does it take to dry?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It doesn't really dry...it's gooey and sticky and delicious. Just keep some wipes nearby as you munch!

      Delete
    2. Ok, I made this one time it was good for about an hour then stale. Have you ever had this problem? If so how did you fix it

      Delete
    3. Kim....no I've never had it to go stale in such a short period of time. Maybe the grocery store's cereal selection was stale when your purchased it? I really have no clue as to why that would happen. As an experiment, I'd try putting a little bit on a cookie sheet and popping it in a warm oven...see if that works.

      Delete
  13. This is delicious. I've made it twice in two weeks. I'm disgusted with myself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, thank you for confirming how DELISH this is! I will have to try it soon!

      Delete
  14. I have been making this recipe for years and I always add almond flavoring (1tspish) to the goo after it cooks...it's amazing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Emily for the almond flavor idea, I can't have nuts, I sure miss eating them, so this is a great idea!

      Delete
  15. I have had the same thing happen to me on other recipes. It is usually because the sugar was not cooked/heated enough. My only suggestion would be to spread it on a cookie sheet and place in the oven on a low heat (225-250). Just watch it closely and stir it occasionally to prevent burning. Hope that helps. Or just turn your gooey mess into popcorn type balls :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. My friend makes this with popcorn and the nuts. I had to laugh because I have always referred to it as Crack! Lol! I think I will try it with some variations now. It was always so good that I didn't think of subbing in different ingredients-but this looks terrific!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Made this today and loved it. Use pecan bits instead of almond slivers. Will add pretzels in the mix and a drizzling of dark chocolate over it while it's cooling on the cookie sheets next time.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Stephanie....you're the bomb dot com!!! Sounds delish!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Made this on Sat. Subbed pretzels and peanuts for almonds and coconut.
    Also added chocolate chips. And lol added some too soon.. But the melted chocolate worked. I thought about the comments about salt and I took the salt from the bottom of the pretzel bag.. Wish I had more : ). Can't wait to make again.

    ReplyDelete
  20. How long do you estimate "soft ball" consistency is? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sandy...I'd say about 10 - 15 minutes. One way to test soft-ball consistency, it to drop a little bit of the mixture into a cold glass of water. If the mixture forms a small ball without falling apart, you're good to go.

      Delete
  21. Okay I need to know will this travel well I'm think of send this to some friends in Afghanistan. They are wanting some sweet to eat. thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Melly, I can't imagine WHY this wouldn't travel well. I've never shipped anything edible out of the country but if you package it in heavy duty zip top bags then in a tin or something, it shouldn't be a problem. It lasts a long time, too so the ship time shouldn't be an issue either.

      Delete
    2. Thanks I will make these and ship them out on Saturday.

      Delete
    3. Melly - if you're shipping to Afghanistan in the HOT season, freeze it then put in vacuum seal bags. It will be just as fresh when they get it as when you made it! From a Marine Mom ...

      Delete
    4. Melly....did you ship some of the Christmas Crack to Afghanistan? If so...did it make it and what kind of shape was it in when it arrived? Another reader would like to send some to her brother who is going to be deployed soon. Thanks!

      Delete
  22. OMG!!! Made these tonight with my kids they loved it and it tastes great my friends in Afghanistan are going to LOVE it!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's hard NOT to like it, right? I'm glad you all enjoyed it so much! Let me know how your friends overseas likes it, too!

      Delete
  23. This would probably be EXCELLENT with Cinnamon Toast Crunch and pecans....yummy!

    ReplyDelete
  24. ooh yum- I am going to try with coconut flakes, pretzels and peanut m&ms!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I add coconut M&M's and cashews. Seriously addictive!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Valerie, have you ever toasted your almonds for this mix?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cathy....No I haven't but I bet it would be great!!!

      Delete
  27. Thanks for this!!! I used cashews instead of almonds as a surprise for my hubby, And pretzel chopped up pretzels. It was demolished. By EVERYONE. Thanks for this recipe!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're so welcome, Roberta! It's a pretty easy recipe to switch around, isn't it? Glad you enjoyed it!

      Delete
  28. I'd love to hear the feedback on how it made it to Afghanistan and if our heroes received it in good shape. Brother is getting deployed again in December (3rd time) and would love to surprise him with something like this. Thanks, Ana

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ana...I went back and asked the reader who was going to ship this. Maybe we'll hear from her soon!

      Delete
  29. My question is to make this for say a party, would you cut it in squares like a rice crispy treat or spoon it out like a chex mix?

    ReplyDelete
  30. Samantha....I made this last year for big Christmas open house and I just put it in a big bowl with a scoop and let people help themselves.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Replies
    1. Nicole....sure you can. It won't be as buttery...but it will work!!

      Delete
  32. Anyone ever tried coating this with powered sugar to cut down on the sticky?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Melissa....I've never tried that but it couldn't hurt to experiment. Maybe take a small portion and add the powdered sugar and see if it helps. I just eat it sticky!! :-)

      Delete
  33. We love this - and we also add honey roasted peanuts to this mixture.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good idea, Sher Bear!!! So many different way to make this to please everyone!

      Delete
  34. Could honey be used instead of corn syrup?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Julianne.....I've never used honey before. The idea of using corn syrup is that it will cook and harden a little bit. But if you don't mind it being more sticky, then I say give it a try!

      Delete
    2. I used brown rice syrup and it was very tasty! Soft, but very tasty. Perhaps I should have cooked the butter/sugar/syrup mixture a little longer?

      Delete
    3. Honey won't work, because of the molecular structure - it won't form a soft ball. I'm not sure about rice syrup, though. A fabulous substitution for corn syrup (which is NOT the same as "high fructose corn syrup". At. All.), for those who have corn allergies, etc., is "Lyle's Golden Syrup", which now comes in plastic pour bottles, rather than just the can. Golden Syrup is made from pure cane sugar, so the structure works wonderfully. It will burn more easily than corn syrup, but at the soft ball stage, you should be fine. At the stage for peanut brittle, etc. - around 304 F - you have to stir constantly & watch closely.

      Delete
  35. Ok so I made half a batch of this stuff because I wasn't really sure if it would win my kids over but I left out the coconut and almonds. And now it looks like I have to make another whole batch! Hubby and kids loved it! I definitely see why its called Christmas Crack!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Has anyone tried toasting the coconut? and maybe the almonds..? I can't wait to make this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cindy....I would imagine it would only make this better since toasting coconut and almonds only enhances their flavors. I say....DO IT!!

      Delete
  37. My mother-in-law made a recipe like this with popcorn. She added 1T of vinegar to the sugar mix it keeps it from being sticky. Cook to a soft ball stage.

    ReplyDelete
  38. My family isn't wild about "sticky" and I was trying to see if I could put this together for a Christmas open house, so after completing the recipe as written, I put each cookie sheet in the oven at 250 degrees for 1 hour. After an hour, I took it out and let it cool, then broke it up and stored in an airtight container. It was wonderfully crispy and no longer sticky! We loved it and will definitely be able to serve it at the open house. We did omit the coconut and added a bag of pretzels sticks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Be sure and spray the pan with Pam if you are gonna bake them. Without Pam, they become like glue to the pan. :)

      Delete
  39. I added peanut butter and its amazing!!!

    ReplyDelete
  40. I added extra coconut. It would be good with a thin drizzle of chocolate on top, kind of like an Almond Joy. :) I'll add extra almonds next time too. Ugh, I ate too much. lol Froze it for Christmas, most of it anyway. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cilla...please let me know how it freezes and tastes after it thaws. Had someone ask about it and I've never frozen it before. Thanks!

      Delete
  41. Have you ever tried to freeze this? How long will it keep in airtight container?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mark.... no...I've never frozen it. I can't imagine why you couldn't though. Just give it plenty of time to thaw. Maybe even pop in a low (250 degree) oven for a little bit then let it cool to harden again...just to freshen it up a little.

      Delete
  42. we have been making this for a few years now too, but we call it who hash and we always add M&MS its the best!

    ReplyDelete
  43. My family makes a version we call white trash....we coat our cereal, nut and pretzel mix with white almond bark. D-lish!

    ReplyDelete
  44. The people at work love Christmas Crack so much, I'm making it for gifts with fancy wrapping. I also wrote a poem to go along...

    Carolers and tinsel
    Reindeer, presents.
    Bows and cards,
    Chimney descents.
    The stress, the elves,
    the coal that is black
    In this silly season
    I present Christmas Crack.

    Happy Holidays!

    ReplyDelete
  45. How much does this makes? I was thinking of giving it for Christmas gifts, in small tins. I need enough for 10-12 people, should I double or triple the recipe??

    ReplyDelete
  46. I have made this with a large can of mixed nuts.

    ReplyDelete
  47. I made this last night, I made 2 batches and I have PLENTY to give to all my co-workers and to take to a couple of different parties. Also, this stuff is crazy good, I can see why it's called Crack, actually there may only be enough left to take to one party :)

    ReplyDelete
  48. Ok I made this and it is Fantastic!!!!! I made a couple changes tho. First I toasted the coconut and the almonds. Next I added a splash of vanilla to the sugar mixture after it came to the soft ball stage. And last I added some cinnamon to the dry mix before I added the sugar mixture. So Good!!!

    ReplyDelete
  49. I just made this stuff for a party. I'm sure it will be a huge hit since it is basically a sugar rush. Honestly though, it is WAY too sweet. I think you could get away with 1/2 of the butter/sugar/ corn syrup mixture and it would still be very good, if not better.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Let me just say...YUM! I just made this to give to some family members as Christmas treats, and it is delicious. Rather than adding coconut flakes, I added Christmas colored M&Ms. I also added almond extract, vanilla extract, and I sprinkled some sea salt over the mixture once it was laid out in the cookie sheet.

    Since I was giving it as gifts and I didn't want to just throw a ball of it in a container, I broke off chunks of the mixture after it cooled and placed it in muffin cups, which I then placed into the containers. Therefore, each container had 4 single servings of some delicious Christmas crack. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  51. This might be one of the best things I've ever tasted! Made it for my NYE party And it was a huge hit. I only made a half batch, following the recipe exactly. It came out gorgeous, and not even that sticky once it was cool. I think I boiled the sugar/butter/corn syrup mix a little longer- 300 on my candy thermometer, stiring pretty constantly. Came out very edible, and broke into chunks nicely to snack and package. Still enjoying it!! Thank you for a new holiday tradition! YUM!!!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Just made this... soooooo delish! I used cashews in place of the almonds and didn't add coconut because my hubby doesn't like coconut. I think I'll add pecans next time I make this too. This reminds me of that expensive Poppycock snack, but MUCH, MUCH better. Mmmm... thank you for the recipe! I think I'll make it for gift tins next Christmas. Love it!!

    ReplyDelete
  53. We used to make this growing up but we put a layer of vanilla ice cream in the middle and kept it in the freezer. It's AWESOME.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Definitely not good for you even though it might taste good!

    ReplyDelete
  55. Is it salted or unsalted butter? When cooking the syrup do I stir it constantly?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I used salted butter and so far as stirring is concerned, I didn't do that the whole time but would give it stir every few minutes to make sure it didn't burn. :-)

      Delete
  56. Made this today for Hubby's Work potluck. So "fall looking" and yummy! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  57. HOW LONG AFTER IT COOKS CAN YOU EAT IT? =) Or can it sit for hours and still be good?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure you've eaten it all by now...but as soon as it's cool enough to handle, we start eating!

      Delete
  58. Well I totally blew my first attempt! I think my candy thermometer was broken and my liquid was so overcooked it was rock hard I couldn't even coat the mixture! Gonna try again and use the cold water method.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OH NO! That stinks! I hope the second attempt was better!

      Delete
  59. Made this today for gift/goody treats for our co-workers. This stuff was so good I was afraid we were going to eat it all before we got it packaged up. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it! It's addicting for sure and a great gift!

      Delete
  60. Just made this for a friend's birthday gift -- it is so yummy!! I was worried about the stickiness, but it is not at all icky-sticky... just more like normal caramel corn sticky. We put it in a large glass jar - looks great. Ohmygosh - so incredibly delicious!! Thanks so much for this recipe!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad it was a success for you and I'm so glad you liked it!

      Delete
  61. Life cereal is really good in it too. I have also done the coconut, little mini reeses pieces. Like was said before you can add pretty much whatever sounds good at the time your making it.
    Thanks for sharing it here

    ReplyDelete