Sweet and Spicy Nut and Pretzel Mix {with Beer!}

Sweet and Spicy Nut and Pretzel Mix {with Beer!} | www.floatingkitchen.net
  • Sweet and Spicy Nut and Pretzel Mix {with Beer!}
Posted on January 12, 2015

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!)

Yield: Makes 8 cups

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


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Add the nuts to a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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).



  • OH man, what a trooper you are to eat all 8 cups of the hot-as-Hades snack mix, haha! This is too funny! I always have problems with the cayenne measurement – it’s hard to get it just right. Loving this mix for all my football watching snacking delight! Did someone say beer? Sign.me.up!!


    • Yeah I’m a total dope. Oh well. Glad I’m not the only one! Yeah BEER!

  • Sweet and spicy … wow! it has to be good. Great combination of flavor!


    • Thanks, Ilona!

  • That cayenne pepper is SO sneaky! Heck YES to tall of the beer, sugar, and spice in this! I know we did the cookie swap but we seriously need to do some sort of snack food swap too. I would love to get a batch of this in the mail!


    • Now you’re thinking Lisa!

  • OMG. You ARE a trooper 🙂 These sound delicious though. I think my husband would definitely enjoy these.


    • Thanks, Jennifer! I think this is definitely “guy approved”.

  • This sounds awesome! I’m a total wimp so I’d probably have to leave out the cayenne entirely, but everything else is SO up my alley. I especially love the beer in there. 🙂


    • Yeah, the beer is the best part! 🙂

  • Liz you are hilarious! This does sound like a nice addictive mix though! I am such a sucker for a salty/sweet mix!


    • Thanks, Annie! Glad somebody finds me funny! 🙂

  • Too funny – that is SO something I would do. This mix looks amazing – perfect party snack!


    • Thanks, Marissa! I’m glad we can all laugh about it! 🙂

  • Holy cow! I would have tossed them out. Having my lips burnt off to eat food wouldn’t have been fun. I’m sensitive to too much hotness. I would have tried them and then had 9 glasses of milk. 🙂

    These look fantastic!


    • Yeah that’s probably what I SHOULD have done, Maureen!

  • Love nut mixes and love this super creative recipe! Maple syrup and beer…are you from New England or something? (;


    • How did you know!

  • haha, love this!! ok, note to self: do not use an ENTIRE teaspoon of cayenne pepper. . although, I might try. . I love spicy. . and love this sweet and spicy nut and pretzel mix! I am so intrigued by the butter, brown sugar and beer!! gotta try this!


    • Yeah, you’ll love it. Use a whole teaspoon only at your own risk, Alice! Ha ha! 🙂

  • OMG! A whole tsp?! Were you guzzling copious amounts of milk to cool the fire?! And then you ate the entire batch… ? How did you deal?! This sounds fabulous, Liz. I know Rob would love this as he is a beer and pretzel fan. The beer, butter, brown sugar and maple syrup sound amazing… really cool combo! Thank you Liz!


    • Ha ha. Yeah it was a rough week! Thanks, Traci. Let me know how Rob likes it if you try it!

  • What a great recipe! and I love that beer choice 🙂


    • Thanks, Jackie! I agree, such a great beer!

  • I like heat, but 1 teaspoon is a LOT of heat! I love the sound of this nut/pretzel mix — perfect for Game Day! Pinned. 🙂


    • Yeah it’s perfect for game day! Let me know if you try it, Marcie!

  • I laughed so hard reading this, I can totally relate! These look delicious!!


    • Glad I’m not the only one, Amanda!

  • So I meant to comment on this the day you posted, but, well I got distracted! (Shocker) BUT, you posted these on the day of the National Championship football game! Ohio State vs. Oregon (Go Bucks!)….and I made these (amazing by the way!!!)…and we won. Coincidence?!? I think not. I now call these my Superstitious Pretzel Mix! Forever a game day staple 🙂


    • Oh that’s so awesome, Erin! Now you HAVE to make they all the time. Glad you enjoyed it AND glad you’re team won!

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  • This is simply a stunning recipe. I love this. Thanks for sharing.


    • Glad you like it, Karen!

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