Sweet and Salty Double Chocolate Cherry Snack Mix {Gluten Free} | Virtually Homemade: Sweet and Salty Double Chocolate Cherry Snack Mix {Gluten Free}

Monday, February 17, 2014

Sweet and Salty Double Chocolate Cherry Snack Mix {Gluten Free}

Yesterday was Sunday funday! I spent most of the day in PJs as my daughter and I perused food blogs and tinkered in the kitchen. Foodie With Family (one of my favorite blogs) published a kicking snack mix that made me run to my pantry searching for ingredients to make our own. So walla…Sweet and Salty Double Chocolate Cherry Snack Mix and it is gluten free.  Thank you Foodie with Family for the inspiration. We also made two Pinch of Yum recipes (have you seen this blog? – it is off the charts) a mango lassi and her famous cauliflower “cream sauce”.  Dang they were good!

So back to this Sweet and Salty Double Chocolate Cherry Snack Mix (that’s a mouthful!). How can it be double chocolate? First, I candied the pretzels in a chocolate based sauce.  I used Glutino Pretzels since they are gluten free.  I swear these pretzels are better than normal ones. They are crisp, crunchy and salty.  You will not miss the gluten. Then after tossing these pretzel clusters with homemade popcorn and dried cherries, I drizzled it with a healthy portion of melted semi-sweet chocolate and sprinkled the top with a touch of kosher salt.  With all the sampling and licking of our fingers, we basically made the snack mix our lunch.

Of course chocolate and salt have become a beloved flavor combination.  The addition of sweet and sour cherries and fluffy white popcorn add texture and tang!  As well, there is very little fat in this recipe.  I added two teaspoons of coconut oil to pop the corn and one teaspoon to the chocolate chips so that it drizzled beautifully and had a glossy appearance.

*Recipe Note - the pretzels stick together once they are candied.  Just break them apart into bite size pieces before adding to the rest of the mix.  Also when you are cooking the pretzels they will become a fitch soggy.  Don't worry - they crisp back up when setting.

Sweet and Salty Double Chocolate Cherry Snack Mix 
{Gluten Free}

Recipe by Liz Hughes - Virtually Homemade 
Prep and Cook Time time: 40 minutes 

  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 cups Glutino gluten free pretzels
  • 1/3 cup popcorn kernels
  • 3 teaspoons coconut oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup melted mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • Kosher salt
Cooking Directions
  1. In a large skillet melt brown sugar, cocoa powder and water on medium high heat, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to medium, add pretzels and stir until pretzel are completely coated. Let mixture boil until all the liquid has evaporated and the pretzels are covered in a glossy candy coating. Spread pretzels out on a parchment lined baking sheet and let set.
  2. In a medium saucepan, melt 2 teaspoons of coconut oil on medium high. Add two popcorn kernels and shake in pan until they pop. Reduce heat to medium, add the rest of the kernels, and shake until all the corn has completely popped. Spread popcorn out on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  3. Place chocolate chips in a glass bowl and microwave for 40 seconds. Stir and microwave for another 30 seconds. Repeat until chocolate has completely melted. Stir in 1 teaspoon of coconut oil until thoroughly mixed.
  4. Drizzle half of the chocolate over the popcorn and let it set (you can pop it in the refrigerator if your impatient like me).
  5. Break apart pretzels clusters and add them, popcorn and cherries to a large bowl. Take the rest of the chocolate and drizzle over the whole mix. Top with kosher salt to taste.