The original recipe for this came from the Current Card Company back when they sold little cookbooks. I don’t know if they do that anymore.
I liked the idea of the adding sugar to contrast with the spices. I have, however, changed the recipe substantially except for keeping the amount of butter, sugar, and the taco seasoning that was in the original recipe. I have also made this using other dry mixes such as chili, barbecue, sloppy Joe or spaghetti sauce instead of the taco seasoning mix.
The original recipe was primarily a popcorn snack. I chose to go with way less popcorn and added a number of other ingredients to create a snack with more interest to my mouth. Any combination of popcorn, cereal, and crackers can be used as long as the total is about 16 cups. This is actually a good way to use up small amounts of cereal and crackers that you may have on hand.
Taco Ole’ Munch
1 bag microwave popcorn, popped (about 8 cups)
2 c. Fritos, broken
2 c. Rice Chex
2 c. Corn Chex
1 c. Cheerios or Kix
1 c. small cheese crackers
1 to 1 1/2 c. salted peanuts or mixed nuts
1/2 c. butter or margarine, melted
1/3 c. brown sugar, packed (dark brown, if available)
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix (or make your own-recipe below)
Combine popcorn, Fritos, cereals, crackers and peanuts or nuts in a very large bowl or Dutch Oven. Stir to mix well. Drizzle the melted butter or margarine over the popcorn/cereal mixture, stirring to coat evenly. In a small bowl combine brown sugar and taco seasoning mix. Stir well to combine. Sprinkle the brown sugar mixture over the popcorn/cereal mixture and stir very well. Turn the popcorn/cereal mixture into two 10x15-inch baking pans. Bake at 300 degrees 10 minutes. Stir mixture and bake 3 to 5 minutes longer. Let cool in pans. Store in zip-top plastic storage bags. Makes 16 cups.
Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix (from The Thrifty Cook, Farm Journal Books, 1974
2 t. instant minced onion
1 t. salt
1/2 to 1 t. chili powder
1/2 t. ground cumin
1/4 to 1/2 t. crushed dried red pepper
1/2 t. instant minced garlic
1/4 t. dried oregano leaves
Combine above ingredients in a small bowl. Store in a zip-top plastic snack-size bag. Makes 1 pkg.