Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Fruitcake-free Fruit Crunch

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I've heard all the fruitcake jokes.  The thing is, I like fruitcake! People who don't like fruitcake have never had a good one.

To ease you, my dear readers, into the daring task of trying fruitcake, here's a snack mix.  It has the flavors of fruity goodness, without  the cake.

I double-dog dare you to try it.

Fruitcake-free Fruit Crunch

2 cups wheat cereal squares
2 cups rice cereal squares
2 cups corn cereal squares
2 cups oat cereal squares
1 cup dried golden raisins
1 cup dried, chopped dates
2 cups dried sour cherries
2 cups mixed nuts (may be salted or unsalted)
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 Tablespoons grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons apple pie spice or pumpkin pie spice

Line two large rimmed baking sheets (15 x 10 x 1 or larger) with parchment paper.  Layer half of dry ingredients in each pan. Mix thoroughly.

In 4-cup (or larger) glass measure, melt butter in microwave.  Add honey, brown sugar,  ginger and spice.  Whisk to combine.  Drizzle half of liquid mixture over each pan of cereal mixture.  Gently stir to coat cereal mixture.

Bake at 325º for 30 to 35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.  Cool pans of crunch on wire racks.  Break apart any large pieces. 

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