Batter Up and Fry: Tailgating Treats. “Beaver Nuggets”
Writing for Pine Tar Press has been an exciting journey for me. It has allowed me to explore many different recipes that I maybe normally wouldnâ€™t on my personal blog. It has taken me around the country in my culinary explorations and opened my eyes to foods I didnâ€™t even know existed.
While researching foods of our rivalsâ€™ cities I have come across so many fascinating dishes and then turned around to try to recreate them in my own kitchen to then bring to you here. Since I havenâ€™t usually experienced these flavors in their native locals Iâ€™m often guessing at how they should turn out. Perhaps my renditions arenâ€™t classically accurate, but they are prepared with loving inspiration from each community and I think they taste pretty darn good in their own right.
This recipe is no different. When researching Texas foods I came across something brand new to me: Beaver Nuggets. Apparently these are a caramel coated puffed cereal sweet snack that is offered by Bu-ceeâ€™s, a Texas convenience store. Bu-ceeâ€™s has its own line of snack products from beef jerky to salsa, but it seems like Beaver Nuggets have their own large group of devoted fans. Since I have never tasted these before, or even seen them except in a Google image search, I can only guess that they are similar to caramel corn using cereal instead of popcorn. So this is my personal take on this unique Texas treat to celebrate the Royals/Rangers series coming up.
If youâ€™ve ever had the real deal, Iâ€™d love to hear your input!
Cereal Candy â€œCornâ€ (aka Beaver Nuggets)
(recipe inspired by Buc-eeâ€™s and modified from Orangetteâ€™s Caramel Corn Recipe)
10 c. Kix (or other puffed corn cereal)
6 TB butter
1 c. packed brown sugar
1/4 c. light corn syrup
1/4 t. salt
2 TB water
1/2 t. baking soda
2 t. vanilla extract
Heat the oven to 250 degrees.
Cover baking sheets with a layer of parchment paper.
Spray a large mixing bowl with a bit of cooking spray. Measure out the Kix into the bowl and set aside.
Measure out all of the other ingredients and have at hand (you wonâ€™t have time to measure as you go here).
Place the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Melt and then add in the brown sugar, corn syrup, salt and water. Whisk and bring to a simmer. Place a candy thermometer into the mix and bring to 250 degrees, stirring often (this will come to temperature very quickly so keep a close eye on it). Remove from heat and immediately whisk in the baking soda and vanilla extract. Be careful as the mixture will foam up and steam a bit.
Pour the caramel over top of the Kix. Stir together until the cereal is well coated. Spread onto the prepared baking sheets and place into the oven. Cook for 1 hour, stirring well every 15 minutes. Allow to cool and then break the cereal up into pieces to serve. If storing, keep in a well-sealed container in a cool, dry place.
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