Spiced Nut Snack Mix

The rush of the holiday season is fully upon this household.  Dozens of cookies and trays of candy and shopping and wrapping and parties.  Seems I always need to take something somewhere.  And, when you add that to the seasonal cooking I already do and the everyday household stuff, I’m always looking to make my party dishes as simple as possible.  That’s where this mix comes in.  It’s slightly sweet, slightly salty, a little spicy and definitely crunchy.  It’s not as carb and sugar laden as so many of the other holiday offerings and so I feel less guilty about eating it, but it still satisfies my snack craving.  I like using dark chocolate chips, but you could certainly use chocolate candies or even toss in some white chocolate chips if you want something that looks more festive.  Also, the batch in the photos I used all almonds for my nuts.  That just happened to be what I had on hand.  I’ve used almonds and pecans and like them both equally (and like them together even more).  You can use any nut you want.

Stir together the oil and spices.  Toss the nuts in the spice mixture and spread in an even layer over a baking sheet.  Bake at 300* for 10-15 minutes.  Stir them every 5 minutes.  Nuts can go from toasty to burned in the oven really quickly.  Let your nose be your guide.  Also, I don’t recommend using coconut oil here.  It has a pretty low smoke point and you’ll fill your house with smoke.

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While your nuts get nice and toasty, measure up a cup of craisins and a cup of good quality dark chocolate chips.  Don’t skimp on the quality of the chocolate here.  The flavors in this are so simple that you really need to go with the best quality you can afford.  Also, you’ll feel satisfied more quickly and eat less if you use flavor packed ingredients.

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Allow your nuts to cool completely before you toss the ingredients together.  You don’t want to melt those beautiful chocolate chips.

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Recipe:

1 Tablespoon oil

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon chile powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 cups nuts

1 cup craisins

1 cup dark chocolate chips.

Preheat oven to 300*.

Stir together oil, paprika, chile powder, cumin and salt.  Add nuts and stir to coat.  Spread nuts in a single layer on a large baking sheet.  Bake at 300* for 10-15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.  Nuts should be golden brown, but not black.

Cool nuts completely.  Stir in craisins and chocolate chips.  Store in an air tight container.

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