There I was, on our weird couch, lazily paging through the December 1978 issue of Family Circle. (Shut up. It’s how I decompress.)
I love those old holiday magazines. Many are technically before my time, but not really, because my mother kept a stack of them in our old kitchen cabinets. Even well into the ‘90s, I busted ‘em out during every Christmas season. Wheat Thins just tasted better when I ate them while reading recipes for, I dunno, sweet-and-sour chicken drumettes or whatever the fuck.
Anyway, something in that issue of Family Circle made me leap up from the couch and almost directly into the supermarket:
Behold! Gold’n Nut Crunch! This was essentially a way for Golden Grahams to break into the Chex Mix market, which made sense, because I’ve yet to find an issue of any magazine from the late ‘70s that didn’t reference Chex Mix at least 30 times.
But could it really be good? Golden Grahams and cheesy nuts? I needed to know. It was going to cost me 30 bucks, because of course we didn’t have celery salt or parmesan cheese or Golden Grahams or even goddamned butter, but I needed to know.
The answer? Yes. It’s VERY good. Good enough to give you a step-by-step guide!
You will need:
– 4 cups of Golden Grahams cereal
– 10-12 ounce can of mixed nuts
– ¼ cup of melted butter
– ¼ cup of grated parmesan
– ¼ teaspoons of celery salt, garlic powder and oregano
Hard to believe that those are the ingredients to anything, let alone anything good, but trust me on this. I wouldn’t have blown my whole Thursday on this article if GOLD’N NUT CRUNCH wasn’t worth eating.
Toss the mixed nuts into a bowl and pour the melted butter all over them. Stir until every single nut looks like it just got through at the gym.
Add the cheese and spices, and mix everything until your arm tires out. It’ll seem like too much parmesan at first, but you must have faith in General Mills.
(You probably have garlic powder and oregano kicking around, but if you don’t have celery salt… sorry, you DO need it. Don’t half-ass this. Some screwball scientist figured out how to make savory Golden Grahams work, but it’s a fragile formula that mustn’t be messed with.)
Spread the funky nuts across an ungreased cookie sheet, and bake at 300 degrees for 15 minutes. Give it a few stirs at odd intervals.
While the nuts roasted, I stared at my still-sealed box of Golden Grahams. It dawned on me that this was the first time in my entire life that I’d ever had a box of Golden Grahams.
A real box, anyway. Prior to today, my only experience with Golden Grahams were a few single-serve boxes that came with multi-packs. Recognizing this as a historic occasion, I added a foil star to today’s box on my 99 cent cat calendar.
After fifteen minutes, remove the tray from the oven and add four cups of Golden Grahams. Stir like crazy.
I was a bit concerned at this point, because with traditional Chex Mix, you bake the cereal. Here you’re just throwing Golden Grahams into something that seems completely at odds with Golden Grahams, and you’re not even giving the conflicting ingredients a chance to bang each other over hot coals.
It all seems so strange, but again, we must trust in General Mills.
Transfer to your preferred serving bowl, and you’re… done? Really? That’s all I had to do? AWESOME.
Guys, I cannot possibly overstate how GOOD this is, and how much it WORKS. I’m genuinely flabbergasted by Gold’n Nut Crunch. The way the flavors blend is magical. It doesn’t taste cheesy, or nutty, or like Golden Grahams. When mixed, those very distinct flavors merge into an all-new flavor that there isn’t an exact word for.
It’s sweet and savory and just so damn good. I wouldn’t necessarily say that I rate it higher than a well-made batch of Chex Mix, but it’s so much different from Chex Mix that it’s hardly worth comparing the two.
Thumbs way the hell up. I’m now determined to make another batch of Gold’n Nut Crunch for my family’s Christmas party. I picture myself entering the house in a white-and-red checkered sweater, holding a big green bowl lined with tin foil. Most of that won’t come true, but I’ll at least have the bowl. It probably won’t be green, but still.