Trail mix and I have a love-hate relationship, for sure. The idea of it sounds wonderful….little nibblies tossed together into a jumble? Salty and sweet? Something that you can throw in your lunchbox, handbag, or, heck, even your pocket to be eaten at your leisure (I totally pronounced that word “lehzure” in my head just now)? The problem is, trail mixes-snack mixes altogether, really-tend to be incredibly disappointing. Too many raisins, not enough M&Ms. Too many pretzels, not enough rye crisps (yes, I am referring to Gardetto’s. I could eat an entire full-sized bag. I should have included them in my guilty pleasures post). My point is, there’s never enough of the good stuff, there’s always too much of the “blah” stuff. Who’s with me?
So the solution? Make your own. Simple as that. This recipe, which really can hardly be called a recipe, is from my aunt Susan. She brought it with her when visiting from Texas this summer, and she made me laugh when she said she can make a batch and it lasts her for a month. It lasted me and Philip approximately three days, and I did most of the eating. Sigh. Her original recipe, by the way, did not include pretzels, but I had an individual bag languishing on my kitchen table when I made this, so I just crushed them up and threw them in. It’s good with or without. Here’s how you do it:
Measure equal parts dark chocolate chips, dried cranberries, coarsely chopped pecans, and broken pretzels (optional). Heat a pan over medium heat and toast the pecans until they start to brown and smell “toast”. Allow to cool to room temperature (or you’ll melt your chocolate chips!). Toss cooled pecans with the other ingredients. Store in an airtight container or storage bag.