Nuts & Bolts

by Rich on November 20, 2012

Ok, at the risk of blowing my “Top Dog” status in the realm of homemade snack mix, I am posting my mother’s recipe for what our family calls Nuts-n-Bolts. The misinformed or unrefined may refer to this as “Chex Mix”. I will not lower myself to address their ineptitude here. Suffice to say that my mother was making this YEARS before there was ever any such snack on the shelves!

I will relate the recipe as I have it, and then give you a few tips that will help your mixology run smoothly.


1-lb butter
4-tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1-1/2 -tsp garlic salt
1-tsp salt
1-bag pretzel sticks
1-box cheerios
1-box rice chex
1-lb nuts


Melt Butter, mix in Worcestershire sauce and dry spices. In a large roasting pan (the blue speckled oval ones with a lid works best) mix the cereals, nuts and pretzels. Stir in melted butter w/spices. Bake at 275 for 2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes. Let cool before serving.

Now, notes to help:

First, yes, you are correct. It says one pound of butter. And don’t cop out on that fake crap either. Get the real thing. This is snack mix, not health food. If you’re going to be a bear, be a Grizzly.

Second, I only use about half of a bag of pretzel sticks in mine. Personal choice.

Third, do not and I repeat, DO NOT use corn chex! They get soggy and stay that way.

Fourth: speaking of cereal, generics are fine, and I’m not talking about the Sam’s/Costco size boxes. Just your standard box.

Fifth, my mom uses mixed nuts. I like cashews. Guess what I use? (and I use 2 lbs.)

Sixth, when mixing your ingredients, it helps to have a second container close by. This is a lot of stuff and it can get out of hand if you’re not careful. Mix the dry stuff, divide, pour on half the spice, add the rest of the dry, pour on rest of spice, then mix.

Seventh, this is a labor-intensive project, and timing is crucial. Every 15 minutes means EVERY 15 MINUTES! Miss this and you will have some nice smelling charcoal for the grill.

Eighth, the reason I use the covered roaster pan is for the stirring intervals. Simply pull out, clamp the lid with both hands and give it a good shake. You just don’t want the stuff at the bottom to stay at the bottom.

And finally, this will feel a little soggy and stale when it first comes out. Don’t freak. Give it time to cool and it will be fine.

Ok, there you go! A couple of parting shots. Fair warning: this ain’t cheap or easy, but ask anyone who has partaken and they will tell you it’s worth it. Also, this stuff is addicting, so go ahead and sign up for NABA (Nuts and Bolts Anonymous). It’s a great 12 step program that will get you through those long months until next year’s holiday season.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Claire Bryan December 2, 2018 at 12:55 pm

It’s that time of year! And this is the year I’m going to have the courage to attempt my own nuts and bolts. Wish me luck!


Rich December 2, 2018 at 1:03 pm

You got this! Call me if you need assistance


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