Praline Crunch snack mix has crispy, crunchy, caramel-coated Crispix cereal and pecans studded throughout. It's SO good, however, be warned: this stuff is seriously addictive!!Jump to Recipe
Everyone has that favorite party snack recipe. It could be a savory Chex Mix or a sweet-tooth's go-to Puppy Chow. Although I'm a sucker for about any kind of little munchies, this Praline Crunch is at the top of my list!
My mom has been making this around the holidays for as long as I can remember. She'd make a big batch and fill ice cream buckets full for transport to holiday festivities.
This praline crunch has just a handful of ingredients and makes the perfect addition to holiday gatherings. Why do I keep saying "holiday?!" Sure, it's a great holiday treat, but why do we have to wait for a certain month to enjoy it?! Well, good news is, you don't have to! Make it anytime.....I'm not judging! 😉
What ingredients do I need to make Praline Crunch?
- Butter - I highly recommend using the real thing. No margarine or "light" butter in this recipe! (You can save calories elsewhere ;))
- Brown Sugar - This is what will give the caramel flavor and help with the crunchy texture! Use light or dark brown sugar - either will work fine.
- Corn Syrup - Light or dark corn syrup will work in this recipe, however I typically use light corn syrup as I always have it on hand.
- Vanilla - Such a wonderful complimentary flavor to caramel!
- Salt - This helps balance out the sweetness and actually enhances the caramel flavor in the mix. The sweet/salty mix is SO addictive!
- Crispix Cereal - Those crunchy little hexagons are perfect for this mix with their numerous nooks and crannies for the caramel to sneak in!
- Pecan Halves - It wouldn't be "praline" crunch without them! They get nice and toasted in the oven, giving the snack mix great flavor and aroma!
How to Make Praline Crunch
I like to start by adding my cereal and pecans in a large mixing bowl, so it's ready when the syrupy part is cooked. You'll want a large bowl so it's easy to mix thoroughly.
Add the butter, brown sugar and corn syrup to a saucepan and bring it to a boil.
Reduce the heat and let the mixture boil slowly for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla and salt.
Pour the caramel mixture over the cereal and pecans mixture.
Carefully stir with a large wooden spoon until the cereal and pecans are coated evenly.
Divide the mixture between two large ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 60 minutes, stirring after each 15 minutes.
Let the praline crunch cool completely before packaging.
Advice for making the BEST Praline Crunch snack mix:
My biggest piece of advice is to make a double batch, because you're gonna wish you did! 😉 Ok, but in all seriousness, this is a very simple recipe. Although there really isn't much to mess up, here are a couple tips to help guide you to success!
- Carefully watch the timer when you're boiling the caramel mixture. If you boil it longer than the recipe says, it'll form a thicker mixture (and therefore be difficult to stir into the cereal). I recommend having a big bowl with the cereal and pecans ready, so as soon as the boil time is up, you can pour it over the cereal/pecans immediately.
- Stir the mix together carefully. First off, the caramel sauce is HOT when you pour it over the cereal and pecans. Safety first! 🙂 Second, you don't want to crush the cereal, so try to fold the mixture to combine using a large spoon or rubber spatula. It'll take awhile to make sure all the pieces are coated, so try not to get impatient.
- Set a timer while the snack mix is in the oven. I recommend setting the timer on 15 minute increments so you remember to stir it throughout the baking process.
How should I store the snack mix?
I always store this mix in a large tightly sealed Tupperware container. It'll last for a week or two on the counter that way.
This does make a decent sized batch of snack mix, so ice cream buckets with lids work well for storage, too! And the handle is nice for carrying the mix to and from holiday gatherings.
How should I package the mixture for gifts?
This Praline Crunch is perfect for gift giving, especially for coworkers, teachers, coaches, etc. There are a couple different packing options I'd recommend:
- Get some cute little tins and fill them up! Tie a ribbon around it (securing the lid on top) and add a gift tag. Simple, cute, and the tins are reusable!
- Treat bags work well too! Especially if you don't want to spend an extra few bucks on holiday tins, this is a great option. Simply fill the clear bags and tie a festive ribbon on top - voila!
Other Easy Snack Recipes
- One 18 oz box Crispix cereal
- ½ pound pecan halves (about 2 cups)
- 1 cup butter
- 2 ¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 200°F.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the cereal and pecans. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the butter, brown sugar and corn syrup. Cook on medium-high heat until it comes to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to low-medium and let the mixture boil for 5 minutes; remove from the heat.
- Stir in the vanilla and salt.
- Pour the mixture over the cereal and pecans and stir until the pieces are evenly coated, being careful not to crush the cereal.
- Divide the mixture between two sheet pans* and spread out evenly.
- Bake for 1 hour, stirring each pan of praline crunch every 15 minutes.
- Let cool and store in an airtight container.
Recipe added to the Weekend Potluck and Meal Plan Monday.
Mary Rogal says
This looks awesome, will be making it as soon as I can get to the store for the Chex mix. Thanks.
Mary Rogal, don't buy Chex Mix. Crispix is in the cereal aisle. Chex Mix is already made.
The Better Baker says
Oh WOW! This sounds so good...addictive...and I can hardly wait to make it. Next to chocolate, caramel is my favorite flavor...congrats on being featured at Weekend Potluck! Nice going! =)
Am I right in assuming the pans should be buttered or that I should line them with parchment?
Hi Rhonda! I'm so glad you asked. I'll be sure to clarify in the post, in case anyone else was wondering the same. The pans actually do not need to be greased or lined (the butter in the syrupy mixture keeps it from sticking). However, if you don't want to have to clean up buttery pans, I'd recommend lining with parchment paper. I hope it turns out great for you - it's a Christmas tradition for us!!! 🙂
Rhonda Peery says
Thanks so much for the quick reply! I thought that it at least wouldn’t hurt anything if I used parchment, so I did yesterday when making this for the 1st time. It turned out wonderful and has already been popular with the lucky few that have gotten to sample it so far. I’ve already pinned it as a tried and true recipe! Thank you for sharing and Merry Christmas!
That's so great to hear, Rhonda!! Thanks for following Dance Around the Kitchen and Merry Christmas to you! -Kelsey
Made it today and it was a HUGE hit with the family. Will make nice Christmas Gifts!!!!
Oh this is so great to hear!!! Thanks for sharing, Joyce! Happy holidays to you and your family. -Kelsey
Shirlie Kimmet says
DOES THIS RECIPE TAKE 2 14 CUPS OF BROWN SUGAR? THAT SOUNDS LIKE ALOT. WANT TO BE SURE BEFORE MAKING IT. PLEASE E-MAIL ME WITH A ANSWER.
Yes, that's correct!
Sandra wheeler says
I made mine with 1/4 cup of sugar turned out great
Elane Wilkerson says
Mine smells good but is stuck together what did I do wrong
Hi Elane - a couple thoughts. Did you spread the mixture between 2 sheet pans? If there's too much on a pan, it might clump up a bit. And did you stir it while it was baking every 15 minutes? If you did both of those things, I'm not sure! It might help to stir it again after it comes out of the oven....maybe 5 minutes after coming out of the oven and 15 minutes after to separate clumps before it completely cools. Wishing you and your family the happiest of holidays! -Kelsey
Melody Kesler says
I made these today and added Fritos corn chips to the mix. Definitely will be making this again!
Ohhhh I love the idea of adding Fritos! Such a good sweet & salty combo! Thanks for the great review!
That sounds good and I did a similar recipe at Christmas and added regular bugles, really good. I’m definitely going to try this recipe with different variations starting with the recipe published.Thanks
Yes!! It's one of my favorites....SO good. And addicting! 🙂
Beverly Tobbe says
Do you stir the syrup mixture while it boils
Hi Beverly - I typically do not. Hope that helps!
Would this work using Kraft caramels or Marzetti caramel?
Hi Bridgette - I've never tried with those types of caramels, so honestly, I'm not sure! 🙂
Can this be frozen?
Hi Lynn - I've never tried freezing it. My only concern would be that it would get a bit soggy in the freeze-thaw process. Let me know if you give it a try!!
I made this to take to my daughter’s for Thanksgiving! It smells so good when cooking the brown sugar, butter and corn syrup. I couldn’t help but try a few pieces before it went in the oven. I’m sure it is going to taste awesome!
Yay!!! So happy to hear, Sharon. It's one of my favorites - so addictive, though! 🙂
Shelagh Krishka says
What can I replace the corn syrup with?
Hi Shelagh - I'm not aware of a replacement for corn syrup. Sorry!!!
Marilyn Bonsall says
Do you pack the brown sugar? Thank you!
Heidi Kleist says
Could you drizzle melted chocolate over this after its cooled? Then in fridge to set.
Absolutely!! I think that would be delicious! 🙂
This crunch is delicious! You warned that it is addictive and it is. My husband ate most of the recipe, my son-in-law finished his at one sitting. I make the regular Chex cereal and it has become expected. I will still make it addition to this treat.
Ha! It truly is addicting - my mom always makes a double batch for that exact reason. Glad to hear your husband and son-in-law enjoyed the recipe! -Kelsey
Good luck finding Crispix! I got Corn Chex, Rice Chex and Honey Nut Chex (something new). My recipe is different, but same idea. This one looks even better.
I made this but boiling for 5 minutes gave mine a burned taste. trying again, I hate to be defeated
Hi Beverly - Sorry to hear yours tasted a little burnt! I just updated the recipe to make sure the heat gets turned down once the mixture comes to a boil. Once boiling, you can reduce the heat to low/medium. Hopefully that'll help any issues like this! 🙂 -Kelsey
Valerie Testi says
It is addicting! I add walnuts in addition to the pecans and some pretzels sticks . Mix very well and then some.
Has anyone tried to cook in the microwave ( once the squares are poured over?) I'd be interested to know . I have a large family and they want it all the time. And I do make double batches. I'm not crazy about turning the oven on for an hour at a time.
Kathy Watson says
I made this this afternoon and it is delicious. My problem is that it’s soggy and not crunchy. Is there something I can do to make it crispy?
Hi Kathy! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. I've never had that happen....however, baking it longer should help it crisp up! 🙂
Marianne VanWulfen says
I have cereal left over in boxes of Rice Chex and Corn Chex. Can replace the Crispix with these?
Yes! That should work just fine! 🙂 -Kelsey