Friday, December 10, 2010

Crazy-Good Spiced Mixed Nuts

Spiced Mixed Nuts from David Lebovitz
As shared from the kitchen of Once Upon a Plate
Makes about 4 cups of spiced nut mix

An Excellent party mix for nibbling, and a jar of these adorned with a pretty ribbon makes a nice gift from your kitchen.

2 cups raw nuts* of any combination; Pecans, Walnuts, Almonds, Peanuts, Cashews, Hazelnuts.  I used Almonds, Cashews and Pecans this time.
1 tablespoon salted or unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar (I use light brown, because that's what I usually have in my pantry.)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon chili powder, or smoked paprika
2 tablespoons maple syrup (the real thing, not imitation maple syrup)
1/2 teaspoon unsweetened natural or Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 cups small pretzel twists

Position oven rack in center of oven, preheat oven to 350* (F) 
Line a baking sheet with parchment, foil, or silicone baking mat (for easier clean up)

Spread the nuts evenly on the lined baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes, stirring once midway through bake time for even toasting.

In a large bowl, mix melted butter with all the seasonings (except the salt), stir in the warm nuts, tossing gently to coat them completely and as evenly as possible.  A silicone spatula works well for this step.

Sprinkle on the salt, mix again.  Mix in the pretzels then spread the mixture on the baking sheet and bake for approximately 15 minutes, stirring once or twice until the nuts are nicely glazed and browned.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.  Once cooled break into clusters and enjoy!

Note:  The spiced nuts can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

*If your grocery store does not stock raw nuts, try a health food store.

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