Introduction to Gluten-Free S’mores Snack Mix
S’mores, short for “some mores,” got their name because they are so irresistible that people always want “some more.” Traditionally, s’mores are made by sandwiching a roasted marshmallow and a piece of chocolate between two graham crackers. However, graham crackers often contain gluten, making them off-limits for individuals with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.
But don’t fret! This gluten-free s’mores snack mix provides a fantastic alternative. It combines gluten-free ingredients to capture the taste and texture of s’mores in a convenient snack mix form. You can enjoy these flavors without the need for a campfire or gluten-laden graham crackers.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Before we dive into the step-by-step process, let’s gather the ingredients you’ll need to create this gluten-free s’mores snack mix:
For the Base:
- 4 cups of gluten-free rice cereal (such as Rice Chex)
- 2 cups of gluten-free mini marshmallows
- 1 cup of gluten-free chocolate chips (semi-sweet or milk chocolate, according to your preference)
- 1 cup of gluten-free mini pretzel twists
- 1/2 cup of unsalted butter (or a dairy-free alternative for a vegan version)
- 1/2 cup of brown sugar
- 1/4 cup of light corn syrup (check that it’s gluten-free)
Additional Flavor Boosters (Optional):
- 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
- A pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup of chopped nuts (like almonds or pecans) for added crunch
- Gluten-free graham cracker crumbs for that classic s’mores flavor
Now that we have our ingredients, let’s embark on our gluten-free s’mores snack mix-making adventure.
Step 1: Prepare Your Ingredients
Before you start mixing and melting, it’s a good practice to have all your ingredients measured and ready. This ensures a smooth and stress-free cooking process.
Step 2: Melt the Butter
In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the unsalted butter. You can do this by microwaving it in 20 to 30-second intervals until fully melted. Keep an eye on it to prevent any spillovers.
Step 3: Add Brown Sugar and Corn Syrup
To the melted butter, add the brown sugar and light corn syrup. Stir well until the mixture is smooth and the sugar is fully dissolved. This is your sweet and sticky base that will coat the snack mix.
Step 4: Mix in Vanilla Extract and Salt (Optional)
If you’re opting for a flavor boost, add a teaspoon of pure vanilla extract and a pinch of salt to the mixture. These ingredients enhance the overall flavor profile of your s’mores snack mix. Stir until well combined.
Step 5: Combine Cereal and Pretzels
In a separate large mixing bowl, combine the gluten-free rice cereal and gluten-free mini pretzel twists. This forms the crunchy base of your snack mix. If you’re craving that graham cracker taste, sprinkle in some gluten-free graham cracker crumbs at this stage.
Step 6: Pour the Sweet Mixture
Pour the sweet, buttery mixture over the cereal and pretzels. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to gently fold and coat the dry ingredients with the sweet mixture. Ensure an even coating to achieve the perfect balance of sweetness.
Step 7: Bake in the Oven
Preheat your oven to 250°F (120°C). While the oven is heating, spread the coated mixture onto a large, rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. This ensures easy cleanup and prevents sticking.
Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for about 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to promote even coating and prevent burning.
Step 8: Cool and Add Marshmallows and Chocolate
Once your snack mix has achieved a golden brown hue and a delightful crunch, remove it from the oven and let it cool on the baking sheet. This is also the perfect time to add your gluten-free mini marshmallows and gluten-free chocolate chips. The residual heat from the mix will slightly melt the chocolate and adhere the marshmallows.
Step 9: Allow It to Set
Allow your gluten-free s’mores snack mix to cool completely on the baking sheet. This cooling process helps the marshmallows and chocolate set, ensuring they adhere to the cereal and pretzels.
Step 10: Break into Pieces and Serve
Once your snack mix is fully cooled and set, break it into bite-sized pieces. You can do this by hand or with a spoon, depending on the desired size of your snack bites. Place your snack mix in an airtight container or portion it into individual bags for easy sharing or on-the-go snacking.