Garlicky Corn Nuts with Cheese Crisps

A twist on a popular Filipino snack, this savory party mix is an ideal drinking companion.

  • Serves


  • Cook

    20 minutes


By Kat Petonito

Published on February 21, 2024

At Washington, D.C. gin bar The Wells, chef Kat Petonito wants to ensure patrons have plenty of worthy bites to accompany their cocktails. She incorporates hints of her Filipina heritage into the menu through snacks like pork lumpia and bowang corn nuts. The latter is her take on Boy Bawang Cornick, a popular packaged Filipino snack consisting of corn nuts flavored with seasonings like roasted garlic and adobo. (Fans of the original will note that this version is spelled differently, which Petonito says is a little “inside nostalgia” to the way she and her sister pronounced it as kids.) In addition to changing the spelling, Petonito adds her own blend of spices, nuts, and cheese crisps to the corn nuts, for an infinitely craveable snack.


For the garlic oil:

  • 1 garlic head
  • Extra-virgin olive oil

For the snack mix:

  • ¾ cup grated pecorino
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan
  • 2 cups salted, roasted corn nuts
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup almonds
  • 1 tsp. ground Urfa chile
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. hot paprika
  • ¼ tsp. smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper


Step 1

Make the garlic oil: Cut off the top ½ inch of the garlic head so that most of the cloves are exposed. To a small pot set over medium-low heat, add the garlic and enough oil to cover. Simmer until the garlic is softened and golden, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool completely, then strain the oil into an airtight container (save the garlic for another use). The oil will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Step 2

Make the snack mix: Line two baking sheets with parchment. Position racks in the center and lower third of the oven and preheat to 300°F. Toss together the pecorino and parmesan on one prepared baking sheet and spread into an even layer. Toss together the corn nuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, Urfa chile, salt, hot paprika, smoked paprika, black pepper, and ½ cup of the garlic oil on the second prepared baking sheet and spread into an even layer. Bake the cheese on the center rack until the cheese is golden brown and crispy, 15 minutes. Meanwhile, bake the corn nut mixture on the lower rack until the almonds are golden brown, 10–15 minutes. Set aside both baking sheets to cool completely.

Step 3

Break the cheese into ½-inch pieces, then transfer to a serving bowl, add the corn nut mixture, and toss until well combined. The snack mix will keep, stored airtight at room temperature, for up to 1 week.

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