I’m just going to cut right to the chase and tell you all about the majorly bone-headed thing I did the first time I made this snack mix. I went all balls to the wall and added an ENTIRE teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Holy hotness.
Now, I’m down with spicy food. I’m no wimp. But this was H-O-T. Like Hades hot. Like sweat while you’re eating it hot. At one point I actually think I got light headed. Can that happen? I don’t know. It happened.
So you may be thinking to yourself “Liz, if it was so hot, why didn’t you just stop eating it?”. Yeah. That would be what a normal person would do. But I can’t stand to waste food. So I consumed the whole eight cups.
Oh and how I suffered through those eight cups.
So now that I’ve gone and told you all that, I’m sure you are totally psyched to go make this recipe. Sorry. But it’s REALLY amazing and you MUST make it. I swear. It’s football snacking at it’s finest. Salty, sweet, spicy AND it has beer in it. Come on. That’s a total win. I would not lie to you. Just don’t be a dope like me. Use less cayenne pepper. I’ve adjusted the spice level to a much more comfortable level (1/2 tsp. gives a good amount of heat, or 3/4 tsp. if you’re feeling more adventurous), so you’ll be one happy camper.
This Sweet and Spicy Nut and Pretzel Mix is highly addicting. I know you’ll be hooked after just one bite!
P.S. I used Lagunitas Brewing Company Brown Shugga’. It’s a solid choice for this recipe.
Recipe adapted from Food52
Sweet and Spicy Nut and Pretzel Mix (with Beer!)
- 4 cups unsalted nuts (I used a mix of cashews, almonds and pecans)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup beer
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp. ground allspice
- 1/2 – 3/4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
- 4 cups pretzels twists
- 1 1/2 – 2 tsp. kosher salt
- Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Add the nuts to a large bowl. Set aside.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, brown sugar and beer. Simmer, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the maple syrup, cocoa powder and all the spices.
- Pour this mixture over the nuts, stirring to coat. Then carefully fold in the pretzel twists, sprinkling in the salt as you fold. If you’re using salted pretzels, I wouldn’t go above 1 1/2 tsp. salt. If you’re using unsalted pretzels, you can add up to 2 tsp. of salt.
- Spread the nut and pretzel mixture out onto your two lined baking sheets, along with any accumulated liquid in your bowl. Bake in your pre-heated oven for 15 minutes, stirring the mixture twice during this time. After 15 minutes, turn your oven off and open the door. Leave your baking sheets in the open oven for 5 additional minutes.
- Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Once the snack mix cool enough to handle, use your hands to break up any big clusters.
- Once completely cooled, the snack mix can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
1. This snack mix has lots of warm, wintery spices, so I recommend choosing a beer that’s equally matched (like a porter, brown ale or stout).