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The Kitchn: Try a new treat for your holiday sweet table

Christine Gallary, on

Christmas Chex Mix is one of my favorite holiday treats that offers a welcome change from all the cookies and candy canes fighting for attention. This crispy, salty-sweet mixture even looks like Christmas — everything is coated in white chocolate, and red and green M&Ms peek through!

My favorite Christmas Chex Mix blend is pretty simple — cereal, pretzels and candy — but the sprinkle of flaky salt at the end is what takes it over the top. It makes a wonderful holiday gift and is a great party food to have around, plus you don’t have to bake it, making it one of the easiest big-batch treats to throw together.

What’s the difference between Chex Mix and Christmas Chex Mix?

Traditional Chex Mix is a savory snack mix made with Chex cereal, nuts, and other salty goodies like bagel chips and pretzels. Everything’s tossed with melted butter flavored with garlic and onion powder, Worcestershire sauce, and seasoned salt before it’s baked up in the oven until crisp.

Christmas Chex Mix falls firmly in the sweets camp. The base is mostly cereal and pretzels, but festive candy-covered chocolate M&Ms swap in for the nuts and everything is coated with melted white chocolate. Instead of baking, Christmas Chex mix just needs to sit at room temperature or chill in the refrigerator until the chocolate is set.

What’s the best coating for Christmas Chex Mix?

The best and most flavorful coating for Christmas Chex Mix is white chocolate bars or discs. These higher-quality products contain cocoa butter, which ensures smooth melting and coating. Although they melt beautifully, white candy melts don’t taste as good so I take a hard pass on them.

White chocolate bars or discs can get expensive — especially when you need this large amount — so you might be tempted to use white chocolate chips or white baking chips instead. I’ve had mixed results in melting most brands into a smooth texture, as a lot of them don’t contain cocoa butter. The exception is Guittard’s Choc-au-Lait chips, which are wonderful and work great here as a more budget-friendly coating.

How to store and freeze Christmas Chex Mix

Christmas Chex Mix stays wonderfully crisp for a long time, making it a perfect holiday gift and something you can make ahead of time before things get too busy. Store it in an airtight container or zip-top bag for up to one week at room temperature, two weeks in the refrigerator, or a month in the freezer.

Christmas Chex Mix

Serves 15; makes about 15 cups

1 (12-ounce) box rice, wheat, or corn Chex cereal, or 10 to 11 cups of a combination


2 cups mini pretzel twists

1 1/2 cups Christmas M&Ms (10 to 11 ounces)

1 1/2 pounds white chocolate bars or discs (see notes if using white chocolate chips)

1/2 teaspoon flaky salt

1. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper, wax paper, or silicone baking mats.

2. Place 12 ounces Chex cereal (10 to 11 cups), 2 cups mini pretzel twists, and 1 1/2 cups Christmas M&Ms in a large bowl and stir with a rubber spatula until combined.

3. If using bars, coarsely chop 1 1/2 pounds white chocolate (no need to chop discs or chips). Place the chocolate in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high in 30-second increments, stirring after each, until melted, about 1 1/2 minutes total. (Alternatively, place in a medium heatproof bowl, fit the bowl over a saucepan containing an inch of simmering water, and melt over low heat, stirring often, 5 to 7 minutes.)

4. Pour the white chocolate over the cereal mixture and gently fold with the rubber spatula, going around the edges of the bowl and scraping down to the bottom, until evenly coated. Transfer to the baking sheets and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon flaky salt.

5. Let sit at room temperature until the chocolate is set, about 1 1/2 hours. (Alternatively, refrigerate for about 45 minutes.) Break into pieces with your hands.

Recipe notes

(Christine Gallary is food editor-at-large for, a nationally known blog for people who love food and home cooking. Submit any comments or questions to

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