“Don’t open these unless you are prepared to eat the whole thing in one sitting.” I warned my friend Ashley as I handed her a bag of David Lebovitz’s holiday nut mix yesterday afternoon.
She laughed like I was kidding.
“No, really.” I said, locking my eyes with hers. “Don’t open it.”
I’d made the mistake of making the belated holiday sweet and spicy nut mix on New Year’s Day – just hours before my dad’s annual Mexican feast of homemade chicken enchiladas, carne asada and black beans. I thought it would be nice to have an appetizer ready when my brother and sister-in-law arrived at 5:00 – a little something to nibble whilst we waited for the golden cheese crusted enchiladas to emerge from the oven.
I didn’t expect us (ie. me) to eat half the bowl.
And I certainly didn’t think I’d need to leave the room in order to keep my hands off the addictive mix that I can never ever ever make again.
But that doesn’t mean that others shouldn’t make it. Others who have more self-control about these types of things. The ones who say, “I’ll just have a bite” of dessert and then actually just have one bite leaving me to devour the rest of the flourless chocolate cake even though I’m already full and don’t particularly like flourless chocolate cake and didn’t want to order it in the first place because I knew this would happen.
This recipe is for them. Because I firmly believe that even those people – “the others” who make me feel inferior because I eat carbs after 2 pm and put salt on my oranges – won’t be able to resist this seductive snack.
Spiced Glazed Nuts and Pretzel Mix
Adapted from David Lebovitz who adapted from The Sweet Life in Paris
2 cups mixed raw nuts (untoasted) – I used cashews, pecans and almonds
1 tablespoon butter, melted
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (cut down from ¾ teaspoon)
1 ½ tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups small pretzel twists (I used Goldfish pretzels)
Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and roast at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, stirring once for even toasting.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix together the melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, cayenne, and maple syrup.
Add the warm nuts, stirring until coated. Then mix in the salt and pretzels, and stir until the nuts and pretzels are completely coated.
Spread the mixture back on the baking sheet and return to the oven for 12-18 minutes (I baked them the full 18 minutes), stirring twice during cooking. Remove from oven and cool completely, separating the nuts and pretzels as they cool.
Once cool, this mixture can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.