Whip up a batch of these maple spiced pepitas to serve at your next get-together. They make a great addition to the appetizer table or the salad bowl.
Years ago my mother-in-law served us these chipotle spiced almonds that were out of this world. I think I ate the whole pound standing there at her kitchen counter. They were delicious for snacking, added a tasty crunch to salads, and made an elegant appetizer for a holiday meal. We loved them so much, I had my sister export them to Kansas for me!
And then, I realized that I could make my own. And so that my littlest one could enjoy the snack, too, I made them with pepitas instead of almonds. Hubs was skeptical to say the least. He figured he and the boys would eat the almonds and leave the maple spiced pepitas for the chicks. But, I surprised him.
I love it when I do that.
A pepita is not all that exciting on its own. (It’s a pumpkin seed.) But, when it combines with the maple and the spices, all the pepitas gather together into clusters and make these little explosive balls of flavor. The crunch of the pepita is intensified somehow — and becomes rather addicting. It was hard not to eat them all in one sitting.
Whip up a batch of these to serve at your next get-together. They make a great addition to the appetizer table at your upcoming holiday feasts. Go French and offer aperitifs: lay out a bowl of olives or veggies, a variety of drinks, and these little bits of maple-spiced goodness.
Okay, so the spice and the maple are not French at all, but let’s pretend. You can make these with almonds and honey if you prefer to be plus francais.
How to make this good and cheap:
Here are some of the strategies you can use to make this recipe more economical:
- Stock up on ingredients when they are on sale. For instance, when I see a great price on pepitas, pears, or blue cheese, I stock up.
- Price match. I track my prices so that I know the best prices on the items we use the most. That means I buy my cheese and greens at Costco because they’re super cheap there; my pepitas at Trader Joe’s, etc.
Tools I use to make this recipe easy:
This is a pretty straight-forward dish. You don’t need any fancy equipment. However, having some good basic kitchen tools can really make your time in the kitchen more enjoyable. Over time, I’ve honed my collection so that they are perfect for my needs. Here are the tools that I like to use in this recipe.
- stainless steel mixing bowl – I’m not sure you have too many of these.
- wire whisk – Be sure to get one with a closed barrel so dishwater doesn’t get stuck in its innards and drip into your food. Ask me how I know.
- rubber spatula – I have two of these; I love them so much.
- parchment paper – I hate washing pans. Parchment paper makes clean up a breeze.
- sheet pans – I LOVE my set of steel sheet pans. They make such a difference in baking.
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 cups pepitas You can also use whole almonds
- Preheat the oven to 300 °. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or a silpat mat.
- In a medium bowl combine the maple syrup and the spices. Whisk to blend.
- Add the pepitas and toss to coat. Spoon the pepitas out into a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pepitas are glazed. Cool the pepitas slightly and then break apart into clusters, if necessary. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.