This bountiful mix of Umami goodness started as an experiment with my air-fryer. I had previously used said air-fryer to dehydrate pears for cake decorations but…could I use it for something else? To dry ingredients so as to alter them altogether? I’m aware that sounds a LOT more intriguing than the actual result. I mean it’s not like I’m going all Star Trek and altering matter! Using my air fryer I dried pickles to the point where, using a spice grinder I ground them to a powder with the zingy briny flavor of pickles. (Trivia- it remains my most viewed piece of social media with 29.7K views on TikTok, albeit with some questionable comets!)
A point to note on the use of pickles. Using “Bread & Butter” pickles doesn’t work. The sugar content of the slices yields a piece that on dehydration becomes sticky, gummy and more chewy than what is needed. The spears that I used were 1/2 sour and quartered and ended up looking like “the Chocolate Lady from Sponge Bob Squarepants“…or so I’m told!
I digress! Once you have your pickle dust, it along some no fuss ranch dip seasoning become the flavor bombs in this tasty and utterly moreish snack mix. In fact, so easy is it to make that I even roped the kids in to doing it. After much chorusing of, “Not another handful” they eventually managed to combine the ingredients into the savory buttery coated mix you read of now.
Once It’s made and cooled you can store it in a tin at room temperature and it’s good for a couple of weeks. I find this is great for this summer time of year when it can be bagged up for road-trips, picnics, or taking along to BBQs and cookouts. Oh! and also perfection with an ice cold beer.
- 2 cups Shreddies
- 2 cups cheerios
- 2 cups Chex
- 2 cups mini-pretzels
- 1 cup pecan halves
- 1 cup unsalted peanuts
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 Tablespoon pickle dust*
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 pack (1oz) ranch dry seasoning
- 2 Tablespoons half-sour pickle juice, from the jar
- 1 Tablespoon white vinegar
- Preheat your oven to 300oF
- In a large bowl combine the Shreddies, Cheerios, Chex, mini-pretzels, pecans and peanuts. Give them a good stir to mix up
- In a pan, combine the butter, pickle dust, garlic powder, ranch seasoning, pickle juice and vinegar. heat over a medium heat, whisking occasionally until the butter has melted. Continue to heat for another 2 minutes
- Remove the butter mixture from the heat and pour over the cereal mix
- Using a spoon (or when it’s cooled for a few minutes you can use your hands) mix up to ensure all the cereal is coated and slick with the butter mixture
- Transfer the buttered cereal mixture to a large cookie sheet and place in your preheated oven
- Bake for between 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cereal starts to lightly brown
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the tray on a cooling rack
- When fully cooled, transfer to an airtight container, or jars, for storage and eventual scoffing!
* I make pickle dust by dehydrating pickles in my air-fryer. For this recipe I dehydrated 2 medium half-sour pickles, cut lengthwise into quarters. Arrange on your system’s drying rack and dry at 150oF for 6 1/2 hrs. Once they have dried out successfully (they will shrivel up quiet a bit) they will cleanly snap rather than bend. Break them into smaller pieces and using a spice grinder, or coffee grinder, blitz the pickle pieces to a find powder. This will give you 1 tablespoon of pickle dust (powder). Keep in an airtight container until ready to use.