I’m going to teach you how to make Halloween Chex Mix. Yep, in the middle of June.
Above is a print ad from an October 1988 issue of some random magazine. Homemade Chex Mix is traditionally more of a winter thing, but thanks to this recipe for a “Hot ‘n Devilish” version, you’re now free to enjoy it during the spooky season.
…or, you know, in the middle of June.
That green ghoul with his vat of evil Chex Mix spoke to me in a way few things do. The fact that Hot ‘n Devilish Chex Mix turned out to be delicious was immaterial. I would’ve done whatever that ghost told me to do, just for the excuse to spend an extra hour staring at him.
Wanna make your own batch? Here’s what you’ll need:
– Boxes of Rice, Corn and Wheat Chex
– Chili Cheese Fritos
– Cheese Popcorn
– Worcestershire Sauce
– Hot Sauce
– Onion Salt
I know you’ll be tempted to buy just one variety of Chex, and I guess you could, but it’s way better if you get all three. I mean, it costs more, and you’ll have to be the weirdo who walks around Target with a handbasket full of various Chexes, but you’ll be rewarded with something that looks better and tastes more complex. Like Gwen Stefani almost said, don’t scrimp.
Melt half a stick of butter, and mix that with a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, a tablespoon of ketchup, a teaspoon of hot sauce and a teaspoon of onion salt. When you’re done, the sauce should look really gross.
Pour the mixture into whatever you plan to bake this in. I just used a big, cheap foil pan. Add 2 cups of *each* of the three Chexes, and stir that shit around.
Stir like your life depends on it. I just used my hands, and the company line is that I washed them first. You’re not going to have a lot of sauce, so you gotta work hard to make it hit all of that Chex. Think of each individual piece as a kid on Christmas, and you’re the Santa Claus.
In an oven that you’ve preheated to 300 degrees (I should’ve mentioned that earlier), toss in the tray and let it bake for 20 minutes. At the 10-minute mark, give it another good stir.
While my tray is in the oven, let me tell you about the next two ingredients. They’re super important!
First are the Chili Cheese Fritos. The fact that you can still obtain spinoff Fritos specifically cited in a 1988 recipe is reason enough to use them. Chili Cheese Fritos may be tough to find, but do not settle on the regular kind. Hit as many stores as you need to. If you’ve come this far, you may as well do it right.
Then we have the cheese popcorn. This is a recipe from 1988, when all cheese popcorn was bright orange and toxic. Most supermarkets now only sell white cheddar popcorn, which is completely wrong for Halloween Chex Mix. I’d suggest hitting Dollar Tree or some other “lesser” store, where neon popcorn is still a thing.
After the Chex has baked for 20 minutes, take it out and add 2 cups of the Fritos and 3 cups of the popcorn. Smoosh it all around. Toss the tray back in the oven for another ten minutes. Mess with your phone while you wait. Accidentally like your enemy’s IG pics.
And there you have it. Honest-to-goodness HALLOWEEN CHEX MIX. (Well, okay, Hot ‘n Devilish Chex Mix, but I think it’s safe to name Chex Mix after Halloween when it’s mascotted by Slimer’s cousin.)
It’s very distinct from normal Chex Mix, and unbelievably good. Like Grandma’s spin on Utz Party Mix. It’s cheesy, a little spicy, and just orange enough to feel Halloweeny. Pair it with a horror movie and skip dinner.
Good luck preparing your own batch, which I absolutely expect every one of you to do this weekend. Don’t let me down. I spent over 20 dollars on this, and I even pulled out our one autumnal tablecloth.