After making marshmallows to give for Christmas, I was looking for a crunchy savoury snack to go with it.
I remembered my friend Annabel posting about Nuts and Bolts on her blog. Mum used to make this when we were much younger (was it the 70s? Perhaps the 80s?) and I don’t think I’ve eaten it since then. I’m sure the recipe was printed on the side of the Nutri-grain box. Obviously it’s time for a revival! A perfect partner to the soft pillowy-ness of homemade marshmallows 🙂
I did a bit of research on the subject, since Annabel doesn’t bake her mix but I’m sure I remember mum doing that. I found quite a number of variations, some baked some not. It seems a popular flavour combination is Worcestershire Sauce with a huge amount of melted butter (plus a few other ingredients).
I think Annabel’s version (same as mum’s) is just a little healthier. It is a very versatile recipe and can easily be adjusted to use what you have (or don’t have) on hand.
375 g peanuts or other nuts or mixed nuts. I use salted.
1 pack French onion soup
1 pack Cream of chicken soup
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon mustard powder.
3/4 cup warmed olive oil
Mix in a large bowl. Stir few times as you can.
I went with Annabel’s suggestion to use a whole box of Nutri-grain, and double the rest of the ingredients. This made a huge amount, and I shared it with many friends and family. Some of my friends had never heard of or tasted it before. They looked at it a little oddly – wondering about the taste sensation of a sweet cereal mixed with spices – but all decided it was very ‘more-ish’!
Of course, I put my own take on the recipe:
Instead of using a packet of Chicken soup, I substituted some chicken stock powder.
Maybe my tastebuds weren’t working very well, but when I tried some I couldn’t taste much spice. So I looked through my pantry to see what I could add, and I found a packet of Tom Yum noodle soup. So I threw that in, sieving out the instant noodles. It was a delicious addition!
I didn’t include any dried fruit. I did consider adding some craisins (dried cranberries) to give it a Christmassy feel, but didn’t think that would go terribly well with the Tom Yum.
I also added some pretzel sticks, left over from my Melting Snowman cupcakes.
If I’d been able to find unsalted mixed nuts I would have used them. I feel there’s more than enough salt in the other ingredients. But using salted nuts doesn’t make this overly salty, so use what you have 🙂
I mixed all the ingredients together well, then baked them for about 10 minutes in a moderate oven. Once cool, store it in an air-tight container.
I made another batch recently, but this time I didn’t bake it. It doesn’t seem to made any difference to the end result, so I’ll not bother with the baking step again!
This really is a very easy snack to make, and very delicious. Thanks, Annabel, for reminding me of this treat that mum used to make!
For gifting, I wrapped empty, clean jars with some Christmas paper and filled them. I don’t seem to have taken any photos of those ;(
Have you tried this before?
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