Monday, December 31, 2007

Sweet and Salty Snack Mix

Here's an addicting snack to enjoy for your New Year's celebrations. The recipe is based on this recipe from David Lebovitz. I like to use more glaze and less cayenne than his original recipe. Do include the cayenne, even if it is just a touch - it adds an interesting flavor in the back of your throat as you're nibbling!

Sweet and Salty Snack Mix

2 cups Pecans (other nut combinations will work, but the pecans are delicious)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne (add more or less to adjust the level of heat)
3 tablespoons maple syrup
3 cups pretzel twists
1/2 cup sesame honey sticks

1) Cover a baking pan with high sides with foil (for easy clean up). Spread the nuts on the pan and toast in a 350F degree oven for 10 minutes, stirring once.

2) Melt the butter over low heat. Remove from heat and add the brown sugar, cinnamon, cayenne, and maple sugar. Mix to combine.

3) Put the nuts in a large bowl and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon salt. (If the nuts are salted, you can omit this step. And do mix in a bowl rather than the baking pan because you will get better glaze coverage.) Add the pretzels. Pour the butter mix over top and stir until the nuts and pretzels are coated.

4) Spread the mixture back in the pan, and return to the oven. Bake for 5 minutes. Then add the the sesame sticks and stir. (The sesame sticks tend to absorb all the glaze, so do not add them at the beginning.) Bake for another 5 - 7 minutes - watch carefully so that the pecans do not burn.

5) Remove from the oven and cool. Store in an airtight container.

By the way, one of my favorite cookbooks is David Lebovitz's ice cream cookbook called The Perfect Scoop! You can check it out here:

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