Followers of David Lebovitz on Twitter (@davidlebovitz) or his blog Living the Sweet Life in Paris get to enjoy regular treats. Though David Lebovitz is a pastry chef by profession (he spent time cooking at Chez Panisse) and has written books about pastry and desserts and ice cream, he says that Spiced Glazed Nuts and Pretzel Mix is his most famous recipe.
This spicy-salty-sweet mix is popular among our family, especially our David. It is easily doubled, but I recommend baking the half portions separately to toast the nuts and also for the last 12-18 minutes in the oven. I have conducted several experiments proving that if you put a baking sheet of nuts on the bottom rack, it burns.
About 4 cups. Adapted from The Sweet Life in Paris (2011), by David Lebovitz.
Glazing the nuts with spices and adding a touch of sweetness makes this the perfect nibble before dinner with an apéritif. Melt the butter in a large bowl so you can do all the mixing in that bowl, making one less thing to wash as well.
Note that the salt is added after the nuts are stirred, so that it doesn’t dissolve. And be sure to use coarse salt, which has an appealing, crunchy texture and more delicate flavor than ordinary table salt.
2 cups mixed raw nuts (untoasted, seriously); any combination of cashews, whole almonds, peanuts, pecan halves, and hazelnuts
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon flaky sea salt or kosher salt
2 cups small pretzel twists
Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and roast on the top shelf of a 350°F oven for 10 minutes, stirring once for even toasting.
In a medium bowl, mix together the melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, cayenne, and maple syrup.
Add the warm nuts, stirring until coated. Then mix in the salt and pretzels, and stir until the nuts and pretzels are completely coated.
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. We have put the mix in a cookie tin as a Christmas gift for our neighbors who are most appreciative.