Sweet and Spicy Nut and Pretzel Mix with Beer | www.floatingkitchen.net

Sweet and Spicy Nut and Pretzel Mix with Beer

This post was originally published here on January 12, 2015. I’ve since updated the photographs and text. I hope you try it out!

Hi Friends! I’m going to keep things short and sweet today (and a little spicy, too!). Because there needs to be as little as possible standing between you and this snack mix. It’s one of my favorite recipes to whip up for parties, game day gatherings, gift giving, etc. So I figured with Halloween on the horizon, today would be the perfect opportunity to re-visit this post and give it a little bit of a facelift. If you need a last minute recipe for tomorrow night, seriously consider giving this Sweet and Spicy Nut and Pretzel Mix with Beer a try. No tricks. Just treats. I promise.

It has chocolate AND beer. I mean, really. What more could a person ask for?

Sweet and Spicy Nut and Pretzel Mix with Beer | www.floatingkitchen.net

The very first time I made this recipe I went all out and put in a full teaspoon of cayenne pepper. And hot damn, that was a painful mistake that I won’t ever be making again. I was literally sweating while eating that inaugural batch. And I think at one point, I even got momentarily light headed. So word of caution: go easy on the spice. A 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper will provide you with a nice amount of heat, while still being relatively comfortable. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can certainly try adding more. But just don’t say I didn’t warn you.

For beers, I’ve made this recipe with both Wicked Weed Dark Age and Lagunitas Brewing Company Brown Shugga’. I’m sure other beers would also be excellent. My suggestion is to stick with something with “warm” flavor tones.

Sweet and Spicy Nut and Pretzel Mix with Beer | www.floatingkitchen.net

A couple of other notes on the actual recipe that I think are worth mentioning. First, I always use unsalted nuts and salted pretzels (mostly because I can never find unsalted pretzels). If you only have salted nuts, you might want to cut down on the amount of extra salt added in the recipe. Second, the snack mix will look wet initially, but it will dry as it sits and cools. So don’t panic if it doesn’t look dry enough at first. And third, depending on the beer you use, some parts of the snack mix might get pretty dark. It’s OK! Just check on the snack mix closely as it’s baking to make sure nothing is actually burning.

I hope you all have a safe and fun Halloween! Enjoy!



Sweet and Spicy Nut and Pretzel Mix with Beer

Sweet and Spicy Nut and Pretzel Mix with Beer

At a Glance:
Yield: Makes 8 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes


  • 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 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 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Add the nuts to a large bowl and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, brown sugar and beer. Simmer, stirring occasionally, about 3-4 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the maple syrup, cocoa powder and all the spices.
  3. Pour this mixture over the nuts, stirring to coat. Then fold in the pretzel twists, sprinkling in the salt as you fold.
  4. Spread the mixture out evenly between your two prepared baking sheets, making sure to add in any of the accumulated liquid in your bowl. Transfer the baking sheets to your pre-heated oven and bake for 15 minutes, stirring and checking on the mixture 1-2 times during baking.
  5. Turn your oven off and open the door, leaving the baking sheets in your warm oven for an additional 5-10 minutes. This will help the mixture to dry. Then remove the baking sheets from your oven and set them aside to cool completely. Once the snack mix has cooled, use your hands to break up any big clusters into smaller pieces.
  6. The snack mix can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.


Recipe adapted from Food52.









57 comments on “Sweet and Spicy Nut and Pretzel Mix with Beer”

  1. 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!!

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

  3. 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!

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

  5. 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. 🙂

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

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

  8. 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!

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

  10. 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!

  11. 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!

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

  13. 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. 🙂

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

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

  20. I’m a savory spicy snack addict and these look like my jam!!

  21. SO MAKING THIS!!!!!!

  22. Ooh, yum, love all of those spices!

  23. I love this!! I am so making it with GF beer and pretzels! Happy Halloween!

  24. This sounds like the most delicious snack mix Liz! I think I may go with the 1/2 tsp cayenne. Too much cayenne and hot flashes are a dangerous combo! Lol!

  25. well now I’m curious. I kinda want to try with cayenne!! WE love hot! Haha.

  26. This looks addicting!

  27. Love the new pics.. and I LOL at your cayenne pepper mouthwatering issue! LOL! Too good!

  28. You turned two of my fave food groups into one addictive snack. I heart you.

  29. Oh, WOW! Is it snack time yet?!

  30. Did someone say beer?

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