And I love trail mix. All the textures, the salty-and-sweet aspect. I can never stop at a handful.
Marrying candied nuts with trail mix was one of the best, and most dangerous, kitchen decisions I’ve had lately. Can you say addiciting. Whoa. But it makes great gifts and people love it.
I used a combo of pecans, walnuts, and almonds. I love using pecans when making candied nuts because the cinnamon-and-sugar coating really seeps into all the nookies and crannies and adheres beautifully.
My 7-year old hand model promptly picked out most of chocolate chips. I’ve taught her well.
My family loves almonds and you can’t go wrong with buttery cashews. Use your favorite nuts.
I use unsalted, raw nuts because they bake at the same rate and the salt level is uniform, but if you have lightly salted, roasted peanuts, walnuts, macadamia nuts, or others, I’m sure they’ll be fine.
I usually have a half dozen different bags of nuts open (salted, unsalted, raw, roasted) and this is a great pantry cleanout recipe. I’m BFF’s with the Trader Joe’s nuts and dried fruit aisle.
After baking I added dried cranberries, dried cherries, semi-sweet chocolate chips, and white chocolate chips. If you’re not fond of certain dried fruits or don’t like white chocolate, omit them and use what you prefer.
The trail mix is salty and sweet, packed with rich cinnamon sugar flavor, and there’s so many textures from crunchy to chewy in every bite. The tartness of the dried fruit is offset by the sweet white chocolate. So good.
The heavenly scent while it bakes just helps contribute to how irresistible this stuff is. It’s going to be your new favorite fall snack. It would make great gifts if you can part with any.
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- 3 cups nuts (I used 1 cup each of pecans, cashews, and almonds. All were raw and unsalted)
- 1 egg white from a large egg, whisked to frothy
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed (light or dark is fine)
- 2+ teaspoons cinnamon (I used 1 tablespoon)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, optional and to taste
- 1 1/2 cups dried fruit (I used 3/4 cup each dried cranberries and dried cherries)
- 1 1/2 cups baking chips (I used 3/4 cup each semi-sweet chocolate chips and white chocolate chips)
- Preheat oven to 300F. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper. Don’t skip lining your baking sheet; set aside.
- To a large bowl, add the nuts; set aside. I recommend using raw, unsalted nuts but if you can’t find them, previously roasted/salted will likely work but monitor baking time and optional salt level.
- In a small bowl, add the egg white, water, and whisk vigorously until very frothy, foamy, and bubbly, about 2 minutes by hand.
- Pour egg mixture over the nuts and stir to coat.
- Add the sugars, cinnamon, optional salt, and stir very well to coat evenly.
- Turn nuts out onto to prepared baking sheet, spreading them in an even flat layer.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, tossing once midway through (I baked 28 minutes); don’t overbake or nuts can burn. Coating may appear bubbly, possibly a bit runny and loose in the center of tray even when nuts are ready to be pulled from oven, but firms up dramatically as nuts cool. Use your judgment and let your nose and eyes be your guide to doneness.
- Allow nuts to cool on baking tray for at least 2 hours. Ideally, leave nuts on baking tray and exposed overnight as it helps them get extra crispy and crunchy.
- When nuts are cooled completely, sprinkle the dried fruit and baking chips over nuts.
- Use your hands to break apart large clusters and disperse fruit and baking chips throughout.
- Transfer mix to airtight containers, jars, or baggies. Mix will keep airtight at room temperature for at least 1 month.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 350Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 233mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 4gSugar: 25gProtein: 9g
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