Spiced Glazed Nuts & Pretzel Mix
Yield: about 4 cups 
Take special note of when the pretzels and salt are added (after the initial coating of the nuts) as this contributes to the delightfully crunchy coating that makes this snack mix so irresistible. My family favors the cashews and pecans so I tend to go heavier on them. Feel free to choose the combination of nuts that suits you best.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups mixed raw, unsalted nuts (like cashews, whole almonds, peanuts, pecan halves and hazelnuts)
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar (David uses dark, I use light)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper*
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea or kosher salt
  • 2 cups small pretzel twists** (feel free to use your favorite gluten-free pretzel)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the nuts on a large, rimmed baking sheet (line with parchment paper for easy cleanup) and roast for 10 minutes, stirring once after 5 minutes for even toasting.

    In a large bowl, mix together the melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, cayenne and maple syrup. Immediately add the warm nuts to the butter mixture, stirring until thoroughly coated. Then mix in the salt and pretzels, and stir until the nuts and pretzels are evenly coated.

    Spread the mixture back on the baking sheet and return to the oven for 12-15 minutes, stirring twice during cooking.  (In my oven, I bake for 5 minutes, stir, bake 5 more minutes, stir, and then bake for a final 2 minutes.) Remove from the oven and cool completely, separating the nuts and pretzels as they cool.

    Once cool, this mixture can be stored in an airtight container for a week or more and makes a delightful hostess gift.

Notes

*This snack mix isn’t crazy spicy, but it does have a nice kick. If you prefer a milder mix, you may wish to reduce the cayenne pepper to 1/4 teaspoon.  Conversely, if you subscribe to the-hotter-the-better rule of thumb, you could increase the cayenne to 3/4 teaspoon.

**If the brand of pretzels you’re using is rather salty, you may reduce the added salt by a pinch or two. Also, if you have pretzel sticks or another small shape on hand (my nieces like rounds because they make good rings!), you may use them in place of the twists.

Tip: If you melt the butter in a large bowl, you can do all the mixing in that bowl and have one less dish to wash.

One more thing: David’s original recipe incorporates 1 teaspoon smoked paprika and 1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa into the butter mixture. Feel free to try that version, too.

the fountain avenue kitchen https://fountainavenuekitchen.com/