Caramel Coated Cheetos

Picture of Caramel Coated Cheetos
I got this recipe from a friend and made it for friends and family for Christmas.  Quite a few have asked for the recipe and there are a few tricks to getting it to work correctly.  I decided that Instructables would be an excellent way to distribute it.

Warning, this is an addictive snack!  Salty, sweet, light.  I made about eight batches and gave most of it away.  It was safer for me that way or I would have overindulged.
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Step 1: Ingredients

Picture of Ingredients
2 ea  8oz Lay’s Natural White Cheddar Cheetos
1 cup butter
2 cups light brown sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp cream of tartar
½ tsp vanilla

I have also made this with white cheddar cheese balls that I got from Sam's Club:  UTZ White Cheddar Snow Balls in a 27 oz barrel.  It comes out fine, but I found that I prefer the taste when it is made with the Cheetos.  I used 16 oz of the cheese balls and the coating comes out thicker.  I believe the cheese balls are a bit denser (heavier) than the Cheetos so the surface area is less.  YMMV.  I have not tried regular Cheetos.  The cheese flavor may be too strong.

Step 2: Tools

Picture of Tools
Large disposable roasting pan
3 quart saucepan
Measuring cups
Measuring spoons
Silicone spatulas

You will need the large roasting pan because you will need as much space as possible when you mix the Cheetos and the caramel together.  Do not use a saucepan smaller than 3 quarts.  The caramel will bubble and overflow a smaller saucepan.  The spatulas do not have to be silicone, but I would avoid hard plastic ones.  It is important during the final step.
mmmmm!!!! what an awesome idea!
Pueo (author) 2 years ago
It was a big hit with everyone I gave it to. I edited the last page. I forgot to mention a cleaning tip.
amandat09132 years ago
WHOA - I am totally making these the next time I want to send random goodies out to my family (last month was gourmet caramel apples).