I have never given up the hunt for this recipe, and I finally found one pretty close. I know I never made it as written (I'm allergic to peanuts, and white-coated pretzels are expensive!) but I will give it as I remember it, my usual variation, and what I am doing this year. Of course, this could be adapted for other holidays as well.
Autumn Party Mix
9 cups cereal squares (I use ones that are half corn and half rice)
4 cups popcorn (I use more like 8-- see how it goes)
1 1/2 c. dry roasted peanuts (I use almonds)
1 c. packed lt. brown sugar
1/2 c. butter (not margarine)
1/2 c. corn syrup
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 pkg. (no size given) Nestle's candy-coated holiday shapes, if available
1 pkg.(no size given) white fudge covered pretzels
Mix cereal, popcorn and peanuts in large, greased roasting pan.
Combine brown sugar, butter and corn syrup in a saucepan; bring to boil over med. heat, stirring constantly. Boil 5 minutes without stirring. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and baking soda (mixture will be HOT and will foam up.) Pour over cereal mixture and stir to coat evenly. Bake at 250 degrees for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool completely in pan, stirring frequently to break apart mixture. Stir in shapes and pretzels. Store airtight.
My variation: Substitute dry-roasted salted almonds for peanuts. Use plain "tiny twist" pretzels (at least 2-3 cups) with the cereal and popcorn. When the mixture is removed from the oven and cooled, add candy corn or harvest mix, caramel bits (Kraft makes them; they are about 1/4 the size of wrapped caramels, and softer) M & Ms in fall colors, and some kind of Hershey's white chocolate kisses, unwrapped.
This year I have candy corn white chocolate M &Ms,(yay!) so I will elimnate the Hershey's kisses. But it's all kind of free form; it depends on what I have, what we eat ahead of time, and what I feel like. Obviously, more popcorn is a cheap way to "stretch" the mix, and the syrup can easily be doubled-- just remember to use a larger pan!
Yield: 5 qts.