This yummy snack mix is based on a recipe I found in a Betty Crocker Christmas cookbook. And though it is called Reindeer Mix, I guarantee we still eat it all year long (I actually can't figure out why it is called reindeer mix, I believe it was just a gimmicky name due to the holiday nature of the cookbook). I made a big batch for New Year's Eve and when I was eating a little bit of the leftovers the other day I realized that if I lefty the pretzels out (not hard to do since they don't add that much to the flavor or texture of the snack) it would actually be a gluten-free treat. Yay!
I make mine a little bit differently that the original recipe -- just because I prefer more popcorn than Bugles, but this is a flexible recipe -- do your own thing. I make my own popcorn because I don't eat microwave popcorn (too many chemicals) so I have listed the quantities for making your own -- it ends up being 4 to 5 cups of popcorn). The seasoning is tasty, but mild -- nothing spicy here.If you leave out the pretzels to make it gluten-free, just substitute with one of the other ingredients or something else that is gluten free (some rice chex would be nice).
1/3 c. butter
1/2 t. chili powder
1/4 t. garlic powder
salt to taste
heaping 1/3 c. popcorn kernels
2 T. corn oil
2 c. Bugle snacks (regular flavored are gluten-free; I don't know about the flavored ones)
2 cups pretzel sticks, broken in half
1 c. potato sticks (like these)
Heat oven to 300 degrees F.
Heat oil in a large pot over high heat and add popcorn kernels. Heat until first kernel pops and then cover, sliding pot back and forth on flame to keep kernels moving in the pot. As popcorn pops, occasionally lift lid slightly to allow steam to escape. When popping slows down, remove from heat. Scoop popped corn into a large mixing bowl, taking care to not transfer and unpopped or half-popped kernels. Add Bugles, pretzels and potato sticks.
Place butter and seasonings in a glass measuring cup and heated until butter is melted in the microwave (or on low in a saucepan). Pour melted butter over dry ingredients and stir to mix thoroughly. Pour onto a large baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, stirring twice. Cool.
Adapted from Betty Crocker Best Christmas