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In a large bowl, empty the cereal and the peanuts.
In a saucepan on the stove melt the butter, sugar, syrup and salt. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes stirring constantly. Add the baking soda, stir, ingredients will foam and become frothy.
Pour mixture over the cereal and peanuts. Mix quickly but carefully. You don't want to smash all of the cereal.
Spread onto a cookie sheet lined with non-stick foil or sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
Bake at 200 degrees for one hour, turning mix over every 15 minutes.
Note: The original recipe calls for baking 1 hour, I cut it down to 30 minutes the second time because we like it to still have the sweet chewy texture.
When mix has cooled, add the M&M's.
Note: Very versatile recipe! You can use dark or milk chocolate M&M's, or even try the Pretzel M&M's. I've also tossed a cup or so of pretzels into this as well.