Cheddar Bacon Snack Mix

Servings: 9 Cups
12 ounces center-cut bacon (about 16 strips)
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chili pepper, optional
3 cups Corn Chex™ cereal 2 cups Wheat Chex™ cereal
2 cups pretzel nuggets
1 1/2 cups unsalted pecan halves
6 ounces Henning’s Aged Cheddar  or Maple Bourbon Cheddar, shredded (1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cubed and melted
1/2 teaspoon salt
Optional: 1/3 cup chipotle pepper hot sauce

Cooking Directions:
Heat oven to 400°F. Place greased wire racks on two aluminum foil-lined rimmed baking sheets.
Arrange bacon strips in a single layer on racks, taking care to not overlap. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until just crisp, turning once.
Brush bacon with maple syrup. Sprinkle with chipotle chili pepper if desired. Bake for 3-5 minutes longer or until crisp. Cool completely on a wire rack. Chop bacon into 1/4-inch pieces. Set aside.
Reduce oven temperature to 250°F.
Combine the cereal, pretzels, pecans and cheddar in a large bowl. Whisk the butter, optional hot sauce and salt in a small bowl. Pour over cereal mixture; toss until coated.
Spread out cereal mixture in a single layer on two parchment-lined rimmed baking sheets. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Stir in reserved bacon. Cool completely.