I think Grandma B was skimping on the butter when she made Nuts & Bolts back in the 60’s. Either that or the “1/2 box Cheerios” she calls for in her recipe were smaller than the ones I buy today. It’s easy enough to correct the situation. The recipe card I copied in fifth grade curlicue handwriting (from Mom’s original) says “2 cubes butter” but I use three. And, to maximize the well-done Cheerios, I also dose up on the Worcestershire sauce and garlic salt. It’s hard to go wrong. Like most (non-baking) recipes, get the general idea and then adjust how you like.
The teal ceramic platter in the photo was a birthday present from my husband. I love, love, love the Heath Ceramics Winter Collection (2016), inspired by the quiet tranquility of the Northern California forests.
Grandma B's Nuts & Bolts
makes a roasting pan full which you can package in holiday tins and/or the nut containers
- ½ box Cheerios
- ½ box Rice Chex
- ½ box Wheat Chex (optional)
- 1 bag thin pretzel sticks
- 1 pound mixed, salted nuts
- 1 pound salted peanuts (or half spanish peanuts, half regular)
- ½ cup freshly rendered bacon fat
- 12 ounces unsalted butter ("3 sticks")
- 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp garlic salt
Preheat oven to 250° F and get out a couple rimmed sheet pans. Melt together the bacon fat, butter, Worcestershire, and garlic salt.
Mix the cereals, pretzels, and nuts in a large crock or roasting pan then pour the sauce over everything and toss gently with two big spoons. Distribute the mix across two rimmed sheet pans and bake for 90 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes or so to bring the melted sauce up from the bottom. Store in tins, jars, or in freezer bags to save some for later.