Friday, December 15, 2017

Holiday Snack Mix

Christmas time is here!  I love the holidays and came across these two drawings from Little and Middle the other day.  When we got out our nativity sets, Little started spending lots of time setting them up and playing with them.  The other day, one of the angels broke her wing so baby Jesus let her lay in the manger while it healed.  But, Little told me, it meant that the angel couldn't go to the beach anymore.  

Ok, this is what you want to be snacking on this holiday seasaon!  David Lebovitz has come to the rescue once again with "that thing I didn't know I wanted to eat but am now obsessed with."  My photo may not be the best here but you get the idea.  It's a little (not too) sweet, a little spicy, and salty - the perfect counterbalance to sweets, other appetizers, and would go nicely with a Christmas cocktail.

A couple of notes:  I used pecan halves and whole almonds but you can also use cashews, hazelnuts, peanuts . . . I think larger nuts (rather than sliced) work better.  My bottle of cayenne is super spicy (even for me) so I used less than the amount below.  Once it gets too spicy, it's hard to tone it down so I'd start with less and add more if needed.  I used the gluten free pretzels from Trader Joe's this time around and they were great.

Spiced Glazed Nuts & Pretzel Mix
from The Sweet Life in Paris

2 cups mixed raw nuts
1 T unsalted butter, melted
3 T dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. cayenne or other red pepper 
1 1/2 T maple syrup
1 tsp. flaky sea salt or kosher salt
2 cups pretzel twists (gluten free or regular)

Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees, stirring once. In a medium bowl, mix together the melted butter, brown sugar, cayenne, cinnamon and maple syrup.  Add the warm nuts, stirring until coated.  Then stir in the pretzels and sea salt until everything is completely coated.  Spread the mixture back on the baking sheet and return to the oven for 12-18 minutes, stirring twice.  Remove from oven and cool completely, separating the pretzels and nuts as they cool. Once cool, you can store this in an airtight container for up to a week.

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