Thursday, December 16, 2010

Spiced Glazed Nuts and Pretzels Mix

If you love baking and don't know who David Lebovitz is, you should. Lebovitz spent thirteen years at the venerated Chez Panisse and is an accomplished cookbook author and now runs a fantastic website that recounts his culinary journeys and experiments, which is where I found this gem of a recipe.

This snack mix is super easy to make, but is sweet, salty, and spicy all at the same time and I found myself repeatedly returning to the kitchen to snag little tastes while I was supposed to be letting it cool completely. I opted for a 50:50 combination of almonds and pecans, but I also think cashews would be superb (I just didn't happen to have any). Keep a close eye on the nuts when toasting them because it doesn't take very long to go from nicely toasted to burnt. I also recommend lining the baking sheet with aluminum foil-not only does it protect your baking sheets, but it will enable you to take the mixture off the baking sheet and cool it to room temperature more quickly. And as with any good recipe, I'm already envisioning the personal signature I can put on my next batch...

Spiced Glazed Nuts and Pretzels Mix
from David Lebovitz

2 cups (200 gr) mixed raw nuts (untoasted); any combination of cashews, whole almonds, peanuts, pecan halves, and hazelnuts
1 tablespoon (15 gr) unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons (45 gr) dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or another red pepper)
1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon flaky sea salt or kosher salt
2 cups (100 gr) small pretzel twists

1. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and roast in a 350F (180C) oven for 10 minutes, stirring once for even toasting.

2. In a medium bowl, mix together the melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, cayenne, and maple syrup.

3. Add the warm nuts, stirring until coated. Then mix in the salt and pretzels, and stir until the nuts and pretzels are completely coated.

4. Spread the mixture back on the baking sheet and return to the oven for 12-18 minutes, stirring twice during cooking. Remove from oven and cool completely, separating the nuts and pretzels as they cool.
Once cool, this mixture can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.

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