Back when I first made this snack mix, we were in the midst of the holiday season. It was my version of the traditional "Holiday Nut Mix", and I handed it out to friends in small bags. I then forgot about it until today.
With two weeks of living alone with my two broken wrists coming up--six days from today--I've been keeping an eye on any kind of finger food that will make my life easier. Sure, friends have offered to cook for me, but I don't really want to be a bother to anyone. Although, now that I think about it, I'd enjoy some homemade enchiladas when I get back to Paris. Got it, friends?
(Obviously I'm kidding, although enchiladas do sound pretty good. For now, I'm going to practice my right-handed chopstick skills for storytelling sessions with friends at the sushi place. You know, so I can tell them about how I just landed wrong after attempting a 360° jump with both hands behind my back. Ha. Right.)
Anyway, I'm planning on eating soup and hummus, but being able to eat finger food really makes it easier. Wait a second--cupcakes are officially a finger food! So is a chocolate bar! However, do realize that I can't spend two weeks eating sugar, sugar, and more sugar, so I'm looking at healthier options.
This nut mix isn't really healthy per se, but not really unhealthy either. There's a minimal amount of butter and not so much sugar, and you can always say the nuts are good for you. It's a nice blend of sweet and spicy that can be appreciated at any moment of the year, not only for the holidays. I was inspired by David Lebovitz's recipe and adapted it to my tastes and what I could find in my neighborhood supermarket.
Easy to make, easy to eat. Enough to win this temporary penguin over.
Anytime Nut Mix
2 c. raw nuts of your choice - I used almonds, cashews and pecans
1 TB butter, melted
2 TB dark brown sugar
1 TS cinnamon
1 TS mild chili powder
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 1/2 TB maple syrup
1 1/2 TS large sea salt, such as fleur de sel
1 c. mini pretzel twists or normal pretzels broken into pieces
Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C.
Toast nuts for 10 minutes, stirring twice.
In a medium bowl, stir spices, melted butter and maple syrup together. Fold in nuts and stir until coated. Add salt.
Add pretzels, mix and spread on a baking sheet. Return to oven for 15 minutes or until toasted without being burnt, stirring twice.
Remove from oven and cool, making sure no clumping occurs. Mix can be stored one week in a glass jar or any other airtight container.