Whisk together Ranch dressing mix and 1/2 cup vegetable oil in a large microwave-safe glass bowl. Stir in oatmeal cereal squares and next 3 ingredients.
Microwave mixture at HIGH 2 minutes, and stir well. Microwave at HIGH 2 more minutes, and stir well. Spread mixture in a single layer on wax paper, and let cool 30 minutes. Add cherries and candy pieces. Store in an airtight container up to 5 days.
Note: For testing purposes only, we used Quaker Essentials Oatmeal Squares for crisp oatmeal cereal squares, Crispix for corn-and-rice cereal, and Wheat Chex for wheat cereal squares.
I was really questioning the Ranch dressing mix in this, but made it anyway. It was just awful...my husband and kids agreed. Such a waste, since I had to dump the entire thing. I even added extra dried cherries and the entire m&m bag to hide the Ranch taste, but it was just too strong.
I made this for company as well as for a meeting. It was such a hit! The mix of sweet and salty is the perfect combination for a munchy with drinks before dinner or an afternoon snack! Easy and highly recommended.
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