Nailed It or Failed It: Sesame crunch trail mix

Published 10:20 am Monday, July 29, 2019

By Sarah Condley

Sun columnist

Brad was thinking about his fishing and canoeing trip, the one I mentioned last week, when I ran across this recipe in the May 2019 issue of Real Simple magazine.

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The trip requires taking all your food because he’s going to the wilderness — no people, no hotel, no electricity, no running water, cooking over an open fire and sleeping in a tent. I thought this would be an excellent snack for the trip.

Sesame Crunch Trail Mix


— 2 large egg whites

— 1/2 cup black or white sesame seeds, or a mixture

— 4 teaspoons light brown sugar

— 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

— 2 cups crisp rice cereal, such as Rice Krispies

— 1 cup roasted salted cashews

— 1 cup roasted salted peanuts

— 1 cup shelled roasted salted pistachios

— 1/2 cup golden raisins


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk egg whites in a large bowl until frothy and almost doubled in size, one to two minutes. Whisk in sesame seeds, sugar and salt. Fold in cereal and stir gently to coat.

Using a rubber spatula, spread mixture in a thin layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until golden and dry to the touch, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool completely on sheet; break into one-inch pieces.

Toss sesame crunch with cashews, peanuts, pistachios and raisins in a large bowl.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to  one month.

I decided I would make the trail mix a week before the trip.

Brad doesn’t like golden raisins so I substituted regular raisins.

Since I’m not crazy about peanuts and didn’t want to purchase some just to use a cup, I decided I’d use some of the pecans I have in the freezer instead. Nuts are nuts, right?

To get started, I lined a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Next, I measured all of the ingredients and had them ready so once I got started with the recipe I could just dump and go without stopping to measure.

I separated two large eggs, placing the yellows in the refrigerator for another time.

I whisked the egg whites until they were just about doubled in size and then added the sesame seeds. I used half black sesame seeds, and half white sesame seeds.

I added the brown sugar and salt then continued whisking those ingredients into the egg whites, then I just gently folded in the Rice Krispies.

The recipe said to spread the mixture in a thin layer on the parchment paper. I was pretty nervous about not spreading it thin enough and ended up spreading it too thin probably.

I popped the pan into the oven to bake.

At 12 minutes, I opened the oven and noticed the mixture hadn’t browned and was still moist to the touch so it baked about 10 more minutes before I removed the pan from the oven and let it cool.

Once the crunch part of the recipe was cool, I began to break it up and it started falling apart. I tried to be gentle, but I realized I must have spread it too thin. I placed the broken pieces and crumbs into a zipper bag and added the cashews, pistachios, pecans and raisins.

I gave the bag a gentle toss and set it aside.

When Brad came in the house after working in the garden, I asked if he’d like to try the trail mix that I made for him to take on his trip. He looked at it and said “I’ll try it, but I don’t think that’s something I’ll take on the trip.”

I wasn’t crushed, but I thought “Really, I think this would be a perfect snack for your trip.”

Brad took a bite and said he thought it was OK, but it probably needed a bit more sugar.

After I tasted it I thought the same thing. Remember, Brad doesn’t like sweet stuff.

Since Brad had decided he wasn’t taking this trail mix on his trip I figured I could let some other people try it and get their opinions.

The first to try it was our son Clay’s family. Clay and Katy, his wife, liked it. The grandkids could take it or leave it.

Next I took some to work and shared with Teagen, Michala and Blake. All of them liked it and Blake is still trying to think of how to describe it so I could include his comments in this column.

Teagen ended up asking for the recipe telling me it tasted “super good.”

Overall, this recipe was a success.

Next time, I won’t spread the sesame crunch so thin and I’ll add a bit more brown sugar. But this is definitely something I’d make again to munch on, even if it was crumbly and Brad didn’t want it for his back-to-nature trip.

Sarah Condley is an amateur baker and chef who is compiling a cookbook of her favorite recipes.