Hot Dish: Rita’s Nuts n’ Bolts


I debated with myself whether I should make this recipe public, but in the end my love for you dear Arthur readers won out. Merry Christmas from Hot Dish, and you’re welcome!
Also known as Christmas Crack, my mother Rita’s Nuts n’ Bolts recipe is legendary. Adapted from a recipe which was passed on by another family member (see the pic of the well-used original copy), this snack is without a doubt my family’s favourite Christmas treat. I don’t say this lightly.

In fact, it is widely acknowledged that the year my brother accidentally spilled the entire stash in the muddy doorway was the year that Christmas was ruined.  We salvaged what we could, but he was shunned, and rightfully so. This recipe does require a little bit of patience and a timer (set your phone!), but I guarantee you it is worthwhile. It also passes as a great gift for friends or family if you are on a budget. Simply fill a mason jar with this heavenly mixture, strap on a ribbon and get ready to receive eternal gratitude and recipe requests! If you plan on giving it as gifts I recommend doubling the recipe so there is plenty left over for you.

½ cup melted butter
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp seasoning salt
1-3 garlic cloves crushed or minced finely (to taste)
Juice of half a lemon
A few dashes of tabasco sauce (to taste)
3 cups cheerios
3 cups Shreddies or Crispex
1 cup pretzels
1 cup unsalted peanuts
1 cup unsalted mixed nuts
½ a bag crunchy Cheetos
1 cup Cheese Bits or Goldfish crackers

1. Melt the butter and mix through the spices, lemon, garlic and tabasco.
2. Line a large sheet or roasting pan with parchment paper (this is optional but it helps to stop scorching).
3. Preheat the oven to 270C. Toss all the nuts n’ bolts together except for the Cheetos and Cheese Bits and drizzle the butter mixture over. It is best to do this by the spoonful, tossing as you go, so the flavouring gets distributed evenly.
4. Bake for 40 minutes to an hour. Set a timer and toss every 15 minutes during the baking time to ensure an even coating and prevent scorching.  You will know they are done when they feel dry.

Hint: if you don’t want to buy full boxes of cereal and bags of nuts and spice you can always get the majority of ingredients from a bulk store to save money!