Ethically Traded White Chocolate You can Eat (Recipe: Sweet-n-Salty Snack Mix)

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White Chocolate Covered Snack Mix :: via Kitchen Stewardship (fair trade chocolate, no junk)

My husband is lucky he wasn’t a lobster in all of our wedding photos.

The day before we got married, we relaxed with our wedding party and friends on the beach most of the afternoon. We played volleyball, enjoyed the cool waters of beautiful Lake Huron, and ate heaps of junk food that the girls and I had prepared the day before.

It wasn’t until we were leaving to get ready for the rehearsal itself that my incredibly pale-skinned husband-to-be realized that while he had put sunscreen all over his body, he had completely forgotten his face.

By some miracle, he looked fine the next day for the wedding and only slightly pink in the rehearsal dinner photos. I wish I could say I had served some magical healthy snacks packed with antioxidants that day at the beach, but in reality we feasted on a huge bowl of a concoction irreverently termed “white trash.”

That party dish is a cockamamie mix of Fritos, popcorn, and peanuts covered in white chocolate, if I remember correctly.

One thing I’ll never forget is that while my girlfriends and I were having fun in the kitchen that week preparing all the (delicious) junk, we had to run to town not once but TWICE to purchase more white chocolate chips. Both in the microwave and on the stovetop, we’d burned the heck out of the first two attempts at melting chocolate.

My mom finally took over and succeeded without a problem. The secret? Read the directions on the bag and follow them. (I know, I know…we were young!)

That story will live in nostalgic memory forever, but I assumed once I really made the switch to real food that “white trash” would be equally eternally lost to me.

When I finally pitched my last stockpile of cheap white chocolate because I just couldn’t handle the hydrogenated oils (and other junk) in the ingredients list, I figured it was the nail in the coffin of all those white-chocolate-covered goodies I used to enjoy.

Saved by Santa Barbara

Then I discovered Santa Barbara Chocolates. Their white chocolate has simple ingredients:

sugar, cocoa butter, whole milk powder, emulsifier: soy lecithin and natural vanilla.

Yes, there’s sugar in there, but at least it’s not anything worse, and the cocoa butter is ethically traded. (Santa Barbara does have soy-free chocolate including all their organic dark chocolate, as well as 100% cacao so you could technically melt that down and add your own sweetener too to make your own without any sugar.)

I took extra care not to burn this stuff while melting it!

This recipe is sponsored by the Santa Barbara Chocolate Company.

Real Food White Trash?

My attempt at remaking the fun dessert (classified as a snack back then) from my college days looked something like this:

White Chocolate Covered Snack Mix :: via Kitchen Stewardship (fair trade chocolate, no junk)
The print version is followed by the pictorial. Enjoy!

Recipe: Sweet-n-Salty Snack Mix
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: dessert
Serves: 4
  • 3 c. popped organic popcorn
  • (butter and salt optional on the corn)
  • 1 c. cashews
  • ½ c. any dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, cherries)
  • ½ c. Santa Barbara white chocolate chips
  1. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler (or "homemade" double boiler, see above for directions).
  2. Stir frequently.
  3. Mix the popcorn, nuts and dried fruit in a bowl. When the chocolate is completely smooth and creamy, pour it over the mixture and use a spatula to mix it all thoroughly together.
  4. Store in an airtight container.
* We liked dried cherries or cranberries the best, but raisins, chopped dates, or even apricots would certainly be delish.

* Add ¼-1/2 cup dark chocolate chips to the mix to make it a truly decadent dessert.


3 c. popped organic popcorn

1 c. peanuts (or other nut)

2 c. organic corn chips, broken into pieces

1 c. Santa Barbara white chocolate


Mix the popcorn, nuts and chips in a large bowl to make sure they’re ready when the chocolate is melted.

Melt the chocolate gently in a double boiler, stirring frequently and taking care not to let the water boil.

*If you don’t have a double boiler, do what I do and rest a smaller pot inside a larger pot. Put enough water in the larger pot so that it touches the smaller pot. This will ensure even heating of the chocolate in the smaller pot and no scalding and burnt chocolate and tears from the cook.

double boiler

As soon as all the chocolate is smoothly melted, stir it into the mixture in the big bowl. I recommend using a spatula to make sure you scrape every last bit out of the pot and off the sides of the bowl.

Just try to keep it around for more than a day or two!

White Chocolate Covered Snack Mix :: via Kitchen Stewardship (fair trade chocolate, no junk)

Improving on the Original: Sweet-n-Salty Snack Mix

Once I started covering things in white chocolate, it was hard to stop. Our very favorite creation was this one:

White Chocolate Covered Snack Mix :: via Kitchen Stewardship (fair trade chocolate, no junk)

White Chocolate Covered Snack Mix :: via Kitchen Stewardship (fair trade chocolate, no junk)Connect with Santa Barbara Chocolate on Facebook and via their blog where you’ll find helpful chocolate science-y articles and more.

Once You’re Melting Chocolate…

…you might as well try some other things.

It turns out dehydrated bananas covered in white chocolate are delicious, and trail mix is positively decadent:

White Chocolate Covered Snack Mix :: via Kitchen Stewardship (fair trade chocolate, no junk)Above is 1/2 c. each crispy walnuts, almonds, and cashews + 1/4 c. raisins covered in 1/3 c. white chocolate – and more would be better up to a full cup, but we like to stretch our expensive ingredients.

Leah wants you to know that the dark chocolate melts up just great, too:

raw coconut cookies drizzled with chocolateThat’s raw coconut delights with white and dark chocolate…

And the rest of the family would say skip the melting – just eat the chocolate! Actually, Leah and I would too. It’s really, really good chocolate…  SmileWhat’s your favorite way to use chocolate? Do you melt it?

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. See my full disclosure statement here.

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14 Bites of Conversation So Far

  1. says

    Loved your comment about “white trash”. My husband and I would eat “ghetto food” when we were super poor. Corn chips w/ either canned baked beans or spaghetti sauce and some dried canned parmesan on top.

    I mean, we were dirt poor. Ate loss leaders only.

    Thank for the link re: the cookies – glad you like them. And I have to try making this….I just got a HUGE order of cocoa butter and was hankering for a Homemade White Chocolate :).

  2. Denise says

    Sorry to rain on the parade, but did you know that dried dairy contains oxidized cholesterol? That is the kind that is very harmful as opposed to the cholesterol contained in an egg yolk, for instance.

    All of the studies done that show that cholesterol is harmful and causes heart issues used oxidized cholesterol.

    Any product that contains milk powder, or powdered cheese or yogurt or other dairy is harmful to health – artery clogging.

    • Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship says

      Thank you for the note, and good point. Some spray drying techniques are really nasty to dairy. I wrote all about it here:

      It’s still such a step up from most white chocolate…and their dark chocolate is much more “pure” without the milk powder, so I kind of brushed that little bit under the rug in my 80/20 world. But you’re right that I should have addressed that point within the post and should ask my contact if they know the process used on the dry milk.


      • Denise says

        That was a good article. I learned some things. One point is that milk powder is not always nonfat or skim. Some have a good amount of fat still in them and so oxidation does occur.

        I didn’t know that about homogenization. I have come to learn that I have been taking everything Sally Fallon says as gospel. I don’t know why, but there it is. I am questioning more – and researching.

        But oxidation in an apple is far different than oxidation of cholesterol. :)

    • Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship says

      Sure thing – just take the white chocolate off the trail mix. 😉 Just being cheeky, sorry about that – really, almost all the recipes under the “recipes” tab at the top there will fit the bill. I rarely use white sugar in anything I make at home, and I just went all Lent without eating a speck of it, including chocolate. Sometimes I just have to make a little indulgence… :) Katie

      • Janice says

        LOL ok Katie and Cory…I get the point but for someone who’s been thru fungal problems before – when I see raisins, cherries or cranberries i think sugar and sometimes not just little…I’ve heard trying to starve fungus is like starving a dog. If you keep throwing him a little food he isn’t gonna die…I’ll just go eat my no bake cookies with xylitol and let the dog starve! Lol thanks for putting up with me! :)

  3. Cory says

    ummm…Katie, didn’t you, like, get the memo that all of your recipes have to be perfectly healthy, all the time? yummy for the sake of yummy is just not OK.

    sorry, I can’t resist snarky either;-)

    I want this chocolate, and I don’t even like white chocolate!

    • says

      LOL and thanks! I’m thinking I have a perfect new recipe for the dark chocolate medallions, actually, designed because they’re quite a bit larger in surface area than my usual chocolate chips:

      1. Dip in natural creamy peanut butter.
      2. Eat.

      Oh, heavens, I’m off to the kitchen now!
      :) Katie

  4. Holly says

    I won 6 lbs. of this chocolate a few months back when Katie sponsored a contest for it. I am happily sorry to say that I have only melted a little of it for some strawberry dessert cups and have eaten most of it just like it is. This chocolate is truly delicious and just like Katie says, really really good!

    You know the story about how, in order to recognize counterfeit money, you have to handle the real thing all the time? Well, I was reminded of that when I unwisely decided to eat some Easter candy that was given to us. Since I’d been eating the good stuff for a while now, I couldn’t help noticing how the fake stuff tasted chemically and truly awful.

    These recipes look delicious and I might just try them……although eating the pieces right out of the bag has been truly satisfying! :)

    • Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship says

      What a great testimony to better food! I remember in high school I used to be all uppity about dollar store knock off M&Ms, that they weren’t any good at all because they weren’t the “real thing.” Now, when I taste name brand M&Ms, they’re just as you said – fake and chemically.

      I agree though – why go through the extra dishes and time of melting when they can just melt in your mouth! 😉 Katie

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