These sweet and spicy mixed nuts are made up of pecans, walnuts, almonds, and cashews, and are flavored with cinnamon, cayenne, and maple syrup. Homemade spiced nuts are the quintessential drinking snack your guests will crave at any get together or cocktail party.
The inspiration for making spiced nuts are the countless NYC bars that my husband and I have frequented where candied or cocktail nuts are placed in heaping mounds in front of us. Before we even realize what we’re doing, we’ve demolished the bowl and asked for a refill. Both on our drinks and the snack.
If you’ve got guests coming over for the holidays and you intend to start the evening with a cocktail hour, I highly recommend setting out a simple finger food like spiced nuts to hold them over till dinner.
Ingredients for spiced nuts:
- Olive oil
- Maple syrup
- Kosher salt
How to make spiced nuts
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, then spread on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 300F for 25-30 minutes, or until nuts have turned a golden brown and smell… nutty. Couldn’t help myself!
Let cool slightly, then serve immediately or store in an airtight container.
Note: any nuts that are NOT on parchment will likely burn. Be careful and make sure they’re all on the parchment!
Can I substitute other nuts?
Totally! After testing these a few times, I found that my personal preference was to go heavy on the pecans and walnuts. I prefer their texture compared to the cashews and almonds. But my thinking was that not everyone at a party likes the same nuts, so it’s good to mix things up a bit.
Will brown sugar work in place of maple syrup?
Yes! Feel free to substitute maple syrup for brown sugar, just beware that the brown sugar won’t melt or dissolve, and will add another crunchy layer on top of the nuts. I prefer the smooth, sticky maple syrup which ends up coating the nuts. The result is almost caramel-like. Either works, though!
How long will spiced nuts last?
In an airtight container, these will stay crispy for up to a week. They won’t ‘go bad’ after that time, they just won’t taste as fresh. Don’t forget: oil spoils! Even plain, unroasted nuts lose their flavor and texture if not eaten quickly.
What do you serve with spiced nuts?
But seriously, these make for the best drinking snack. They’re salty and sweet and spicy. You can’t help but demolish handful after handful of these while sipping on a cold drink.
Feel free to mix up the ratio and quantity of your favorite nuts, but don’t skimp on the cayenne. You need the heat to counter the sweetness from the maple syrup (or brown sugar)! Trust me when I say these disappear lightning fast. Grab ’em while you can!
If you make these Spiced Nuts, please let me know by leaving a review below!
For more party snacks, check out the following:
- 1 cup pecans
- 1 cup walnuts
- ½ cup cashews
- ½ cup almonds
- ¼ cup maple syrup or light brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp chopped rosemary
- 1 Tbsp chopped thyme or sage
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp kosher salt divided
- Preheat oven to 300F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except for ½ tsp kosher salt (reserve). Toss to combine, then place on baking sheet.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown and fragrant. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with remaining ½ tsp kosher salt. Let cool (they'll crisp up during this time), then serve immediately or store in an airtight container.