Sweet and Spicy Snack Mix

Hiya – I’m Julianne, aka The Ninja, and I’m thrilled to be helping Rachel wrap up this year’s Handmade Holiday series. I blog at Yankee Kitchen Ninja about what I call “stealthy homemaking” – reasonably healthy recipes that are also easy, gardening and tips and the occasional DIY project.

sweet and spicy snack mix

Today I have a total winner for you: my sweet-and-spicy holiday snack mix. Now, this is no ordinary snack mix, my friends – no ho-hum, office-party Chex mix. Come on, we can do better than that! So much better, in fact, that my husband, Mr. Ninj, told me last week that this snack mix is his “favorite food in the entire world, ever.” Seriously!

What makes it outstanding is the near-perfect blend of sweet and salty, nutty and crunchy, all finished with a little heat. Oh – and did I mention super-easy to make?


sweet and spicy snack mix

I make a big batch of this mix every Christmas and we’ve started calling it “Snack Crack” because of how addictive it is. You will not be able to stop eating this stuff.

So if you want to give a home-baked gift this holiday season that a sure-fire winner, I highly recommend you whip up some Snack Crack. I like to package it in Mason jars with a handmade label and some ribbon, but cute snack bags or gift boxes would work just as well.

Be sure to stop by Yankee Kitchen Ninja or join me on Facebook to see what other holiday goodies I’m cooking up. Happy holidays!


snack crack




Julianne Puckett is the creator of Yankee Kitchen Ninja, a blog about what she calls “stealthy homemaking” — healthy recipes that are quick and easy to prepare, DIY gardening tips and the occasional craft project. A designer, writer and former suburban-dwelling IT professional, she lives in  Vermont, where she struggles to balance the siren call of her inner farmer with her love of cute shoes and cocktails.

Thank you so much, Julianne!!  I love candied pecans, and this recipe looks delish!  Thank you so much for being a part of Handmade Holidays this year!!!!

Y’all better get on over to The Kitchen Ninja, tell Julianne hello and while you’re there check out her delicious recipes; like these Herb-Infused Sugar Cookies!

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All month long, I will be sharing delicious and delectable kitchen gifts from 30 amazing bloggers here on A Southern Fairytale! Don’t forget to head on over to According to Kelly for 30 fabulous crafty gifts and Skip to my Lou to get your sewing inspiration on!

Did I mention the giveaways?

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Make sure that y’all are subscribed so that y’all can keep up with all the goodness coming up this month, and for your chances to enter to win the goodies above!!!!

You can also enter the giveaway by clicking over to the Handmade Holidays Year 4 home page


snack crack

Sweet and Spicy Snack Mix

Print Recipe


  • 3 cups of raw nuts I use pecans, cashews and whole almonds, but you can use whatever you like, as long as the nuts are untoasted
  • 1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 4 ½ tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 cups small pretzel twists the smaller, the better


  • Heat the oven to 350°F degrees.
  • Spread the nuts on a large baking sheet and toast for about 10 minutes (stir at least once).
  • In a bowl, whisk together the butter, sugar, cinnamon, pepper and maple syrup. Stir in the warm nuts, making sure they get well coated, then sprinkle with the salt. Lastly, add the pretzels and give the whole mixture a good stir.
  • Spread the mix back onto the baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes or until the nuts are toasted. Stir it a few times while baking to prevent everything from sticking together. Let the mixture cool completely on the pan and store in an airtight container (or package it up for gift-giving).
Servings: 2 quart jars
Author: Rachel

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  1. I followed the directions exactly and 15 minutes cooking time was way too long. I stirred mine after 71/2 minutes and returned to oven and about 3-4 min later started smelling like they were burning. I removed them immediately and nearly ruined. I guess my oven must run hotter than it should

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