Wheat Chex made its debut in 1937. The Corn and Rice varieties followed shortly thereafter. But legend has it that they found their true raison d’etre when the wife of a Ralston Purina executive needed something different for a Christmas party. If she’d known what her creation would mean to hubby’s company, she might have called it cha-ching mix.
You can find the approved recipe on any of the cereals’ boxes. Or you can go to the Chex Web site and get the skinny on 15 different versions. Well, maybe “the skinny” isn’t quite the right phrase here. There are mixes that are microwavable, salty, sweet, and gluten free. Hot and spicy, Oriental, cinnamon apple, cookie pizza, snickerdoodle, and more. Those crazy product development people.
But the original version is best. Reasonable people can have slight variations on what’s “original,” as long as they have peanuts (or preferably, mixed nuts), pretzel sticks, Worcestershire sauce, and butter. My wonderful wife likes to add Goldfish. And I look forward to having a big batch in another week or so.
If you want to know the ORIGINAL Original recipe, this is it. It’s taken from the cereal boxes in the 1950s:
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
* 1/2 cup butter or margarine
* 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
* 1-1/4 teaspoons seasoned salt
* 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
* 3 cups Wheat Chex square cereal
* 2 cups Rice Chex square cereal
* 1-1/2 cups peanuts
* 1-1/2 cups small pretzel rods
Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Melt butter in a shallow pan. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, seasoned salt, and garlic salt (not garlic powder). Add Wheat Chex, Rice Chex, nuts (peanuts, pecans or cashews), and pretzel rods. Mix until all pieces are coated with the butter mixture.
Place on a shallow baking pan with sides. Bake for 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Cool…enjoy!