Oh Fall, how I love thee! Although we are still a few weeks away from Fall, having September finally here gets me all excited for what’s ahead. September is when the weather begins to cool down and we start prepping for the holidays ahead: Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. My boys recognize this time of the year with lots of pumpkin and apple desserts. This month is also when the days start to get shorter. It’s hard to stay energized through the evening when it gets dark outside early.
My husband is crazy about trail mix. He says that eating a trail mix pack or bar towards the end of his day gives him that extra energy to keep going when he is starting to feel sluggish. To kick off this awesome month of September, I thought I’d combine his preference for a snack with some protein and his love for salted caramel with my passion for marshmallows to create these sweet and savory treats.
I decided to include PLANTERS Dry Roasted Peanuts, raw pumpkin seeds and almonds in my treats because they add great texture. Pretzels added crunch to the mix, cranberries, a touch of chewiness and chocolate candies that yummy chocolate flavor. I especially loved the convenience of using melted KRAFT Caramels to drizzle on top instead of having to make caramel from scratch.
These Trail Mix Treats with Drizzled Salted Caramel are great to take to work, put in kid’s lunch box, enjoy at home during the day and as a sweet and salty dessert at night!
Trail Mix Treats with Drizzled Salted Caramel
Prep Time: 5 minutes • Cook Time: 15 minutes • Serves: 16
½ stick unsalted butter
1 lb. JET-PUFFED Marshmallows
3 cups puffed rice cereal
1/3 cup PLANTERS Dry Roasted Peanuts
1/3 cup chocolate candies
1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup PLANTERS Roasted Almonds
1/3 cup pretzels, crushed
1/3 cup dried cranberries
20 KRAFT Caramels
2 tsp. whole milk
2 tsp. coarse sea salt, separated
COAT lightly a 9″ by 12″ pan with nonstick spray and set aside.
MELT butter in a microwave safe bowl. Toss marshmallows on top of the melted butter. Place bowl back in the microwave and heat for 2 minutes. Stir marshmallows and butter to integrate and return to the microwave to heat for an additional minute. Carefully pull bowl out of the microwave, stir well and set aside to cool for about 3 minutes. You don’t want it to be super hot, otherwise it will melt the chocolates when added.
MELT the caramel cubes with milk for 1 minute in another microwave safe bowl. Remove from microwave very carefully and stir in 1 teaspoon of sea salt. Set aside.
POUR in the cereal, peanuts, cranberries, pretzels, pumpkin seeds and chocolate candies into marshmallow mixture immediately. Stir with a greased spatula until evenly coated. Pour into the prepared pan and press evenly into pan with a greased piece of wax paper.
DRIZZLE melted caramel all over the top of the marshmallow trail mix treats using a spoon. Sprinkle the remaining teaspoon of coarse salt in top of caramel.
COOL completely at room temperature. Once cool, cut into 2″ by 3″ squares with knife. I like to heat my knife’s blade over the stove for 5 seconds before making a cut. The treat cuts easier and you get neater edges.
STORE crispy treats in air-tight container at room temperature for up to five days.
You can see this recipe on KRAFT Tastemakers page on www.kraftrecipes.com.