You may think White Chocolate Christmas Crack is devious, and you would be correct in that thought. It's filled with creamy white chocolate, crisp Chex cereal, salty pretzels, and airy popcorn. That all sounds pretty devious to me..
Alright, funny story time. For my high school graduation, two other seniors and I performed Landslide by Fleetwood Mac in choir. We thought it was perfect for graduating because it talked about being afraid of changing the life you’ve built around something - in our case that was our hometown and friends.
Little did we know, the snow covered mountains they reference were more than likely cocaine… not snow covered hills (enter flat, unamused face here). Not that I don’t appreciate the song, but I prefer to interpret it my way because I live in a wishful abyss.
Now back to this white chocolate Christmas crack recipe. This type of crack is not the kind that Fleetwood Mac references, but it is incredibly addicting. It has a light touch of peppermint to keep it refreshing but is the perfect combination of all the best parts of Chex mix. That means not too many pretzels and not wheat Chex (sorry, don’t take it personally wheat Chex, you’re cool in other ways!).
Ingredients and Substitutions
All substitutions are a 1:1 substitute unless otherwise noted
Chex Cereal: We use two types of Chex, corn Chex and rice Chex. These are both very light, airy, and mild tasting cereals that won’t over power the peppermint.
Substitutions: Any combination of these two types of cereal can be used.
Pretzels: Yes, this is a Christmas crack recipe with pretzels. And while that may sound lame because not everyone appreciates regular pretzels, they are perfect for this snack because they add that necessary salty flavor to counter the sweetness.
Substitutions: Any type of pretzels can be used, including gluten free pretzels. We like to use pretzel sticks for easier eating. You can also use crushed up Ritz crackers or saltine crackers instead of pretzels.
Cheerios: Yup, this recipe is heart healthy! Or at least the Cheerio commercial tells me so.
Substitutions: Multigrain Cheerios or similar plain cereal can be used.
Popcorn: Christmas crack popcorn is the best kind of popcorn covered in white chocolate! We use lightly salted popcorn to keep it light and not greasy.
Substitutions: Any unflavored popcorn can be used (butter is a flavor and would not taste good in this). Air-popped popcorn is a favorite!
White Chocolate Chips: Did you know white chocolate isn’t even chocolate? Yup, it’s usually made from vanilla, sugar, and palm oil. However, you can make your own with cocoa butter (the fat from the cacao pod).
Substitutions: Any kind of white chocolate can be used except sugar free. I have found that sugar free white chocolate does not melt well and therefore creates clumps in the Christmas crack white chocolate.
Peppermint Extract: This puts the holiday season in this Christmas crack Chex mix! You only need a tiny amount, though, so use sparingly!
Substitutions: While there is no substitute for peppermint extract (do not use spearmint unless you want it to taste like toothpaste!), you can replace the peppermint extract and white chocolate with peppermint bark or peppermint chocolate. You could also add bits of Andes mints (¼ cup will suffice) to the mixture instead of peppermint extract.
How to Make this - Step by Step
Step one: Add both Chex cereal types, Cheerios, popcorn, and pretzels to a large bowl and mix until evenly distributed.
Step two: Pour the white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 30 second intervals, stirring in between each time. Repeat this until they are completely melted and it can easily be poured. It took us about three 30 second rounds. You could also do this over a double boiler or medium saucepan on the stove over medium heat. Mix in the peppermint extract to the melted chocolate.
Note: be sure the chocolate is fully melted or else it won't mix easily with the Chex mix!
Step three: Pour half of the cereal mixture into another large bowl and then drizzle a fourth of the melted white chocolate on each bowl of cereal. Use a silicone spatula or long handled spoon to carefully mix until the melted chocolate is evenly coated. Then add the remaining chocolate between the two bowls of Chex mix and mix until coated. You may have to keep reheating the chocolate to ensure it is pourable to get that perfect even coating of chocolate.
Step four: Line a large (or two small) baking sheet or cookie sheet with parchment paper. Pour out the Chex mixture onto this tray and spread around evenly. This does not need to be in a single layer, the cereal just needs to be laying semi flat for it to cool. Once cool, enjoy!
Watch How to Make This - Step by Step
Keeping the white chocolate hot is important. White chocolate cools quickly and as it cools, it is harder and harder to pour it out evenly. By ensuring it is hot and pourable (like maple syrup level pourable), we are able to evenly spread it out among the white chocolate Christmas crack. If it is poured onto the cereals in clumps it is much harder to mix throughout the cereal and will result in needing more chocolate.
Why do they call it Christmas crack?
Because you can’t stop eating it while sitting at that Christmas party you’d rather not be at but are glad you are because they have Christmas crack.
How do you make Chex mix not soggy?
Soggy Chex mix comes from it being sealed and stored while there is still moisture. This happens when the Chex mix is not allowed to cool before it is stored. To store Chex mix properly, let it cool COMPLETELY and then store in an airtight container or Ziplock bags. If it is hot at all when stored, that heat will release and create steam (moisture) inside whatever sealed container it's stored in.
How long will homemade Chex mix last?
This Christmas Chex mix recipe can be stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks at room temperature. Any longer than that and this Christmas snack mix will start to get stale, but there's no way it won't be eaten within a few days anyway!
Want to Save it for Later? Here’s how!
This Chex mix Christmas crack saves super well! Which makes it a great treat for the busy holiday time of the year when you are making snacks for every gathering. Simply let it cool completely, then package or store in an airtight container or Ziplock for up to two weeks at room temperature.
As I mentioned, white chocolate is not considered chocolate. The FDA requires chocolate to contain cacao liquor to be considered “chocolate”, while white chocolate does not have this requirement. This is confusing to the max, but nevermind that I guess. Because it does not usually contain any cacao, the caffeine content is far lower than traditional chocolate. It's sometimes made with cocoa butter which is the inner fat of the cocoa bean. It is one of the most resilient fats known and will extend storage life of products two to five years! (source)
More Joyful Recipes!
Try these other sweet snacks!
Did you try this and love it? Leave us a review, we would love to hear from you!
- 3 cups cheerios
- 4 cups Chex mix
- 2 cups popcorn
- 1 cup pretzels
- 12 oz white chocolate chips
- ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract *
- Mix cereals, pretzels, popcorn, and crackers in a large bowl then separate into two bowls.
- Melt the white chocolate in the microwave in 30 sec increments - it took us 3 - 30 second intervals. This should be hot and pourable. See notes below about white chocolate.
- Mix the peppermint into the white chocolate.
- Drizzle half of the white chocolate over each cereal mixture and mix gently. Add slowly and little by little, mixing gently in between. This ensures the best, even ratio.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper and pour the cereal mixture onto the paper. Let cool and then enjoy!