December 27, 2012

Holiday snack mix - spiced, glazed nuts & pretzels

With New Year's celebrations approaching, I bring you another little nibble to consider having alongside your glass of champagne or other drink of choice.
I actually made this "holiday snack mix" - another recipe from the awesome David Lebovitz - last weekend for my Christmas party.  I served it up alongside the drinks as a little something to nosh on.  This holiday snack mix is pretty irresistible...there's the crunch, the warm-smokiness of the nuts, and the combination of sweet and salty that's so appealing.
I used a combination of nuts I like most: walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts, and almonds, alongside pretzels.  Add cinnamon and chili powder for the spice while some brown sugar and maple syrup provide the sweetness.  Somewhere in between, there's just a bit of melted butter and a scattering of flaky sea salt.  I was a little nervous about the cinnamon, particularly with chili powder, but I trusted my unofficial baking guru and I liked the combination.  There's actually a "holiday" flavor to them...

This snack mix (holiday or not) is easy and fun to make, great for a crowd.  Plus, it makes a great hostess gift too.  I'm glad I followed my instinct and made a little extra!

I had fun making this pretzel and nuts mix.  I love doing something a little different in the kitchen, particulary when it is easy!

First thing you need to decide is what combination of nuts you'd like to use.  I say throw in a little of everything to keep things interesting.  The bulk bin at the local Whole Foods or other market is ideal here.  I went with all the basics except for pecans.  Neither my husband or I are big fans of pecans.

The raw nuts are first toasted then, while warm, dumped into their spiced glaze made from a tablespoon of butter, some dark brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, and chili powder.  Once coated, add some fleur de sel or other flaky, coarse salt.  You actually don't want the salt to dissolve and that's why it's added after the nuts have been tossed in the glaze.  It's great fun tossing this mix together in a nice big bowl.
After the pretzels are also mixed in, spread the mixture into a lined baking sheet to return to the oven.  My pan is a bit crowded because I increased the recipe by 50% (extras make a nice homemade gift during the holidays since everyone could use a snack to serve with drinks). 
My mix took about 18 minutes or so in the oven.  Stir the mix a few times while baking to make sure there are no clumps from the brown sugar.  The recipe says 12-18 minutes of baking time.  I'll tell you that your "nose knows"'ll smell the warm toastiness of the nuts once it's ready. 
Let the snack mix cool completely out of the oven.  Break up any clumps as it cools if you find it necessary (I didn't).  Once totally cooled, store it in an airtight container for up to a week.  Or drop some in cellophane bags to share as gifts.


Holiday Snack Mix (Spiced Glazed Nuts and Pretzel Mix)
Recipe from David Lebovitz here

- For about 4 cups -

2 cups mixed raw (untoasted) nuts; such as any combination of walnuts, pecans, cashews, almonds, and hazelnuts (David is partial to pecans in this recipe but I didn't use them since they're not my favorite)
1 tablespoon salted or unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon chili or other red pepper powder (such as cayenne or paprika)
1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon flaky sea salt, such as fleur de sel
2 cups small pretzel twists

Place nuts in a baking sheet and toast in a 350 degree for 10 minutes, stirring them once midway.

In a large bowl, mix the melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, red pepper, and maple syrup together.  Toss the warm nuts in this mixture until thoroughly coated.  Then add and stir in the salt (this is done after the nuts are stirred since we don't want the salt to dissolve).  Mix in the pretzels.

Transfer the mixture onto a lightly greased, non-stick, or silicon-lined baking sheet and return it to the oven to bake for another 12-18 minutes, stirring a few times during baking to make sure the brown sugar doesn't clump.  Mixture is done when it is nice and toasty (you'll smell that toasty aroma).

Remove from the oven and let cool completely, breaking up any clumps (if necessary) as it cools.  Once cooled, the mix can be stored in an airtight container for about a week.


  1. That definitely looks great for a party. I was thinking it might also make a good snack mix for my husband at work.

  2. It's a yummy snack if you like nuts (I love 'em)...To be safe, I plan to make it when I expect a crowd because it's easy to eat too much on my own! : )

  3. This makes me hungry. Everything looks so sweet, I admire this kind of life and the best wishes for you. Hope that we can communicate with each other. By the way, any body try this Free Photo Recovery Software?I think it is good.



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