It seems as though I’ve spent the last few weeks making huge full course meals and decadent side dishes, so I thought I’d change it up this week and give you one of my favorite go-to snacks!
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My boyfriend makes fun of me because when I have the munchies, I’m not just a sweets lover, but I love all things salty too.  Terrible I know, but I have quite the addiction to pretzels so anytime I have the opportunity to cover them completely in chocolate, you know I’ll take the chance.  The same goes with this mix…it’s salty, it’s sweet and even has a hint of spice that surely will give you a swift kick in the pants!
You can thank the cayenne pepper for that.
If you’re making this for your kids, you can of course leave out the pepper completely and this will still taste just as good.  The pretzels, nuts and rice chex are tossed together with pure maple syrup and a touch of butter then topped with cinnamon, brown sugar and some fresh thyme.  The added herbal flavor really gives the overall snack a great flavor without being too overpowering.  Everything caramelizes together nicely in the oven and you’ve got yourself a delicious snack that will last you all week!
For the holidays, throw a batch in a mason jar, tie it up with a bit of twine and you have a fabulous Christmas gift too!
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Sweet and Spicy Pretzel Mix

Serving: 16 servings

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped (divided)
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/2 cup blanched almonds (see below)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp butter
  • 3 cups tiny unsalted pretzels
  • 1 cup Rice Chex
  • 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, one teaspoon of thyme, salt, cinnamon and cayenne pepper, set aside.
  2. To blanch your almonds, place them in a small bowl and pour boiling water over them to cover just the top. Allow almonds to sit covered in hot water for one minute (don't go over) then drain and rinse under cold water. Peel the skins off the almonds and they are ready to go.
  3. Spread the blanched almonds and pecans onto a baking sheet and bake at 350 for about 10 minutes. In a medium bowl, mix together nuts and butter until melted and then gently stir in pretzels, cereal and syrup. Sprinkle the sugar mixture evenly over pretzel mixture, tossing gently to coat.
  4. Spread entire mixture in a single layer onto a baking sheet and bake at 350 for about 10 minutes, stirring just once about halfway through. Sprinkle with remaining teaspoon of thyme and allow to cool completely. Enjoy!

Nutritional Information

Serving Size: 1/3 cup • Calories: 142 • Fat: 5.5 g • Carbs: 21.4 g • Fiber: 0.9 g • Protein: 3.1 g • WW Points+: 4 pts

http://www.eat-yourself-skinny.com/2012/11/sweet-and-spicy-pretzel-mix.html
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Happy holidays everyone!
Time to turn the Christmas music back on…
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