Maple Bacon Draft Party Mix

Tonight is our fantasy draft, so it seemed appropriate - no, not appropriate, essential - to create a snack for the occasion. Some factions of the fantasy football world go all out and host draft parties, while others opt to stare at a computer monitor for several hours and draft remotely. Either way, it's an intricate and demanding process. The entire fate of your fantasy season rests on this one night in August, so you'd better make sure you're well fed. 

So what's a tasty snack that will take you from your first to last pick? In my case, I needed something simple enough to throw together after work that wouldn't be stale by round six. Let's try a twist on a classic party snack: Chex mix... with maple popcorn and BACON! Double yum.

True to form, once I started brainstorming, I got a little carried away. My idea of "easy" may differ from yours, but I really tried my hardest to come up with a few shortcuts (for example, I fought the urge to pop the corn on the stovetop and opted for microwave popcorn). 

Back in the winter, the Creative Director and I tried A Cozy Kitchen's recipe for Pig Candy and it was un-flippin'-believable. We ate it on vanilla ice cream, as per the site's suggestion. We ate it plain, by the forkful. Just amazing. We aren't going to follow that recipe here, but it serves as inspiration for our sweet, candied snack and you definitely need to give that Pig Candy a try.

I ended up getting two batches out of the dry ingredients and doubling the maple syrup mixture. Not necessary, but advisable if you like it extra sweet and candied. 

Good luck this season, fantasy drafters!

Maple Bacon Draft Party Mix
A Stiller Nation Snacks N'at Original

2 cups Wheat Chex
2 cups Rice Chex
1 1/2 cup thin pretzels
2 cups unsalted peanuts
3 cups plain or light butter popcorn, popped
6-8 strips bacon
6 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup real maple syrup
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp cayenne 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place bacon on baking sheet and bake for about 10-15 minutes, until edges are crisp. Remove baking sheet, turn bacon strips over with tongs, and bake for another 5-8 minutes. Remove sheet from oven and lower heat to 250 degrees.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in maple syrup, brown sugar and cayenne. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 8-10 minutes. 

Place bacon strips on cutting board and chop into large pieces. In a large mixing bowl, stir together Chex, pretzels, peanuts, popcorn and chopped bacon. Line baking sheet with parchment paper (can be the same sheet that you used for the bacon, just lay the paper on top of the grease - it's a-okay if a little bacon grease is in the mix). Spread dry ingredients (Chex, etc.) onto the parchment-lined baking sheet. Pour maple syrup mixture evenly over the Chex mix. Bake in oven for 45 min, checking every 15 minutes. (If using a clean, non-bacon-greasy baking sheet, bake for 1 hour.)

Remove from oven, allow to cool and transfer to serving dish. 

One Response so far.

  1. Katy says:

    Goodness gracious, this looks/sounds incredible. Our Pitt tailgating crew gravitates toward crunchy hand-to-mouth snacks, and this is perfect. Can't wait to make it. Thanks! :)

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