After a week hiatus and everyone suffering (loving) my Buffalo Chicken Dip recipe, Chef Nick has returned to put the fun back into Sunday Funday! My husband pleaded with me this week, no dips for the game this weekend, and then Chef Nick sent me this gem of a game-day recipe and I immediately knew the readers (and my husband) would LOVE this dip alternative! With Halloween around the corner, a fall feel in the air, candy corn-inspired snack mix is the PERFECT treat this weekend! Not to mention I LIVE for chocolate covered pretzels (a sweet/salty combo makes the best explosion of flavor in my humble opinion). Chef Nick told us, “this next game-day recipe is a fun and perfect treat for a cozy movie night, Halloween-y fun or a solid game day snack,” and we couldn’t agree more! Check it out and as always, let us know how your version turns out.
The Game Day Recipe:
-2 bags of perfectly popped microwave popcorn (seriously people, don’t burn the popcorn)
-Candy Corn (I used the original flavor but there are at least a dozen different flavors you could try! Mix and match)
-Pretzels (again, any style, shape, flavor, just keep it bite-sized)
-Chocolate covered pretzels (can’t beat sweet and salty)
-Organic blue corn tortilla chips (we like the blue corn anyways but the color contrast with the candy corn really adds to the Halloween-y theme)
Note from the Chef– I’m not going to include exact amounts for this game day recipe, it’s really all about personal preference and how you are feeling (also what you have laying around). But the base of this recipe is consistent: microwave popcorn…everyone has their favorite brand and butter level (I’m a normal butter lover) so that part is completely up to you. Now let’s get started!
Step 1: DONT BURN THE POPCORN
This recipe is literally an assembly project except for the popcorn. Pop the popcorn VERY carefully and then let it cool for at least 5 minutes. Cooking at this point is important as we don’t want the chocolate from the pretzels to soften and start to melt all over everyone. Bad, very bad.
Let’s take this popcorn business one step further. After the popcorn is popped and cooled, dump it out onto a sheet pan and get to work. Separate any un-popped kernels from the batch and discard. I’d say remove any burnt pieces as well but alas, we did not burn any popcorn today! This step is completely optional of course but I really think it makes a difference. After all, how crappy will you feel when aunt Nancy breaks a tooth on an un-popped popcorn kernel. Whoops! Not a good look. That’s usually the case with cooking in my experience whether it be fine dining or snack-making, that extra little attention to detail can make a huge impact.
Step 2: GATHER the goodies. Use whatever amount you would like with the rest of the goodies. For 2 bags of popcorn, I used about a cup each of candy corn, pretzels, and chocolate covered pretzels. I also used about 2 cups of tortilla chips. Now for the chips, depending on the brand, they might be a little too big. With any snack-mix, we want to think similar sized items (bite-sized). So that means we need to break (never crush) the chips to about the size of the pretzels you use.
Step 3: ASSEMBLE the mix! Find yourself a fun bowl and add in the popcorn. In a separate bowl, mix together the rest of the goodies. Take about 2/3 of the goodies mix and fold into the popcorn, taking care not to crush anything up too much. After a good mix is achieved take the rest of the goodies and garnish on top. That’s it, simple, sweet, salty, and fun! Happy Fall y’all!
✅NOTE: if you are making this snack mix for a crowd (party, game day, family gathering) then try this- only mix about HALF of the goodie mix into the popcorn and reserve the rest and hide it from your guests. People will naturally gravitate towards taking the ‘goodies’ out of every food mix out there. Whether we are talking about a snack-mix or a shrimp pasta dish on a buffet line. It’s a perceived value situation, to get the best value people will naturally ‘pick out’ the goodies from the base item (popcorn, pasta) i.e. the candy corn/chocolate pretzels from the mix and the shrimp from the pasta. Reserving half of the goodie mix will allow you to extend the life of your dish, so when you notice that most of the goodies have been picked out, just whip out the other half and dump it in, mix, and voila!! A whole new mix for the rest of the party. They will never know, I promise.
Send us your best versions of all of the great game day recipes and we will post your success stories on our social media!