This Maple Glazed Mixed Nuts with Candied Bacon post is sponsored by Hatfield and SheKnows Media.
Looking for a fun and unique holiday appetizer? These Maple Glazed Mixed Nuts with Candied Bacon are salty, sweet and delicious!
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On my way back to Penn Station to catch my train home, I happened to catch a whiff of the most amazing smell. Cinnamon. And nuts. I followed my nose to the pushcart on the corner where a guy was selling candied nuts. These pushcarts are scattered all over the city (especially during the winter months), and there’s almost always a cluster of folks grabbing a snack to go. I dutifully did the same and grabbed a bag of nuts to enjoy on the train ride north along the Hudson.
As I was sitting there munching on those sugared nuts, I realized I should make a batch at home. There’s really not much to it. After all, the vendors make these sugared nuts on the streets of NYC! And if they can make nuts on the street, then I can certainly do it at home in my kitchen. But over the course of the next two hours, my brain started spinning with all of the ways I could make those mixed nuts even better. Like with some maple syrup. And bacon. Bacon makes everything better! Speaking of bacon, this Maple Bacon Chili has seriously become a staple around our house on these cold nights. I highly suggest grabbing an extra pack of bacon to make this chili after you make these Maple Glazed Mixed Nuts!)
The combination of sweet and salty in these Maple Glazed Mixed Nuts creates a snack that you just can’t put down. Trust me. I kept putting the lid on the container of nuts, only to come back 5 minutes later and grab another handful! In fact, these nuts would make an excellent appetizer for a holiday party…or better yet, they’d make excellent gifts for friends and neighbors. Just make up a couple of batches and divide the mixture into glass jars. Wrap the jars up with a burlap ribbon and a sprig of pine, and you’ve got yourself a wonderful neighbor or hostess gift! Just don’t be surprised when everyone expects you to make this recipe year after year!
When making these Maple Glazed Mixed Nuts, I used Hatfield’s Thick Cut Hardwood Smoked Bacon. Thick cut bacon is key for these mixed nuts as you want the bacon to hold its own next to the variety of nuts. In fact, I prefer thick cut bacon for almost all of my recipes. Hatfield’s Thick Cut Bacon has all of the wonderful taste you expect from bacon…just more of it! Plus, Hatfield is an American-made, family-owned company based out of Pennsylvania. The folks at Hatfield are committed to sustaining the American family farm, and I absolutely, 100% support that mission! I do my part by always keeping a couple packs of Hatfield’s Thick Cut Bacon in the freezer, and we’ve just recently started picking up their dry rubbed seasoned pork tenderloins. (The tenderloins are delicious and perfect for easy weeknight meals!)
During the holiday season, our dinners can be a bit eclectic. Some nights we do quick leftovers, while other nights we grab dinner with friends and neighbors. We joke that we see our neighbors more during the cold, winter months than we do during the summer when we’re all outside! Seriously, though, we love just getting together for appetizers for dinner. No need for a table and a traditional sit-down meal. We just light a roaring fire in the fireplace and invite a couple of friends over. Price of admission is an appetizer to share. These evenings always lead to good fun and good conversations…not to mention good food, too! I’m pretty sure (as in 100% sure) these Maple Glazed Mixed Nuts are going to be our contribution to the next holiday party!
Even Robbie got in on the action with these Maple Glazed Mixed Nuts as he walked around the house saying “more nuts please” for about an hour! Oh, life with toddlers, right? Happy holidays, everyone!
Maple Glazed Mixed Nuts with Candied Bacon
- Place bacon in a cast iron skillet; place skillet over medium heat. Cook until bacon is crispy (~10-12 minutes).
- Remove bacon from skillet and pat dry. Drain most of the bacon grease from skillet, leaving only about 1-2 tsp in skillet.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the maple syrup, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and black pepper; stir until combined. Add the cooked bacon, nuts (pecans, walnuts, cashews and almonds) and dried cranberries; stir until well combined.
- Transfer mixture back into skillet; cook on low heat, stirring often, for 8-10 minutes or until sugar has melted and begun to thicken. (Note: you will need to stir the mixture fairly often to prevent the sugar and maple syrup from burning.)
- Remove the mixture from the skillet and toss in granulated sugar. Spread mixture apart on a piece of parchment paper to dry (~5 minutes).