It feels like a lifetime ago when my husband and I started that wonderful little community coffee shop that stole all of our hours and days for half a decade. There are so many little gems that came from those years, struggles too, but the gems are what have our hearts.
This recipe is one of those gems and even though we'd been making it for years prior, it quickly became a customer and staff favorite that we brought out of the vault every Christmas. I made batch after batch of this stuff, though never enough to meet the need. We spent a good deal of time debating on just the right name and finally one of our baristas came up with “Jingle Java Crunch”. There isn’t any Java in this recipe - just a reference to our beloved shop, and even though the store closed several years ago the name has stuck along with the frequent requests for this deliciousness and the recipe. Now we whip it up every Christmas to hand out to family, friends and neighbors!
Once you get a nibble of this you are going to have a hard time stopping! My late father-in-law lived with us early on in our marriage and he used to affectionately call it "Christmas Crack". We weren't sure we wanted to market "Christmas Crack" so the name had to change! On the days that I made a batch we'd often find half of it had gone missing in the middle of the night. Just you wait and see...
Ok, so you start with a pretty simple list of ingredients: mini pretzels, Cheerios, Chex, peanuts, M&M's, vanilla chips and oil.
Mix all your dry ingredients together in a big bowl. And when I say big, I really mean HUGE, the biggest one you can find!
Put your vanilla chips in a medium saucepan, pour oil over the top, mix and melt on low. If you have a microwave, feel free to use it here. We got rid of ours over 10 years ago and honestly I pretty much forget how to use one!
Once those chips are all melty and smooth pour over your cereal mixture and stir, stir, stir. Be sure to really dig in and get all the gooeyness off the bottom.
Pour the mixture onto wax paper or cookie sheets and allow to dry. Once it's dry, store in an airtight container or bag up to share with friends!
Jingle Java Crunch
- 1 package (10 oz) mini pretzels
- 5 cups Cheerios
- 5 cups Chex
- 2 cups salted peanuts
- 1 lb M&M's (holiday colors)
- 2 packages (12 oz each) vanilla chips
- 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
- Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl & set aside
- In a small saucepan heat vanilla chips and oil on low heat, stirring until smooth
- Pour melted vanilla chips over cereal mixture and mix thoroughly
- Spread onto waxed paper or cookie sheets to cool
- Once cool & dry, break apart and store in an airtight container.