a peek inside the fishbowl

26 Nov, 2013

Make your own Bits n’ Bites

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Recipes and Food

Homemade Bits n' Bites recipe

My mother-in-law made a batch of these homemade bits and bites and it suddenly dawned on me… we used to make these all the time but somehow it totally fell off my radar. I’ve decided it’s time to revisit this little treat. It’s easy, yummy, and it makes A LOT, but you can totally make this work in your favour.

1) If it’s packaged up in a little tins it makes a nice little gift for school friends, neighbours, work friends.
2) It freezes well. Toss everything in large freezer bags and pull it out when you have company over.

It’s not as fancy as this candied nut recipe (I like to bring that one along as a hostess gift this time of year) but homemade bits and bites are a lot cheaper, AND they are appreciated by kids and adults alike.

As an extra bonus, this recipe is super forgiving as it pertains to tastes and nut allergies. You basically toss in whatever you like!  I don’t usually add peanuts (my MIL did in the batch pictured above) or cheese crackers (like goldfish) but you can add both if you’re keen. We’ve made this with regular Cheerios, no-name brand, honey-nut Cheerios, Shreddies, Chex, Crispix … whatever! Bulk stores are your friend here. You can tinker with the quantities too.

Bits and Bites party mix recipe

4-5 cups Cheerios
4-5 cups Shreddies
6 cups pretzels

1/2 cup unsalted butter
2-3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon onion salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons chili powder (optional)
4-6 drops Tabasco sauce (optional)

1. Place your rack in the lower position and preheat the oven to 250°F. Get out your turkey roaster, or a foil pan used for this purpose.

2. Combine the cereals and pretzels in your roasting pan.

3. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the sugar and spices and stir well to combine. Drizzle over the cereal mix and stir well to coat.

4. Bake for about 1-2 hours, stirring every 15-20 minutes with a wooden spoon. Let cool and pack into freezer bags.

5. That’s it! You’ll have enough to last you from now until Christmas I bet!

10 Responses to "Make your own Bits n’ Bites"

1 | TD

November 26th, 2013 at 11:55 am


My mom used to make this growing up and freeze it. I prefer it frozen from years of pilfering it before Christmas :-)

2 | andrea tomkins

November 26th, 2013 at 12:32 pm


Haha! Yes! This stuff is good right out of the freezer too!

3 | Cynthia

November 26th, 2013 at 8:13 pm


We ate this every Christmas and gave as gifts too….with the peanuts. We called this “Nuts and Bolts”. There was an ongoing dish of it on our coffee table over the holidays. This was long before the days of Bits and Bites!

4 | MIL

November 26th, 2013 at 11:23 pm


Kellogg’s Crispix rather than Shreddies is a great choice too. Much lighter and crispier.

5 | Nadine

November 27th, 2013 at 12:06 am


I think bits n bites are an awesome gift idea. Everyone in our family loves them so I know what I’m doing soon :) Thank you for sharing this.

6 | Pamela

November 28th, 2013 at 6:02 pm


I’m going to veganize these, and make some for me and some for the Holiday Howl event. :)

7 | Pamela

December 4th, 2013 at 8:18 pm


I veganized this recipe, as promised. I liked the taste, but I found that there maybe wasn’t quite enough of the seasoning sauce to go around. Have you experienced this, Andrea?

8 | andrea tomkins

December 13th, 2016 at 2:54 pm


They are definitely NOT strong flavoured, I’ll say that much, but then again I think I prefer it that way because I don’t like my snacks too salty! Next time try bumping up the seasonings a bit to your liking.

9 | Margaret Thomson

December 13th, 2016 at 5:13 pm


So glad you posted this. I had forgotten the recipe and it is a superb snack to have on hand. Really has that “snack” party sensibility.

10 | andrea tomkins

December 14th, 2016 at 8:21 am


It is definitely a good snack to keep on hand, especially thins time of year! (And freezing a bunch is a good way to avoid eating the whole thing.) ;)

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human offspring: Emma (23) and Sarah (21). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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