Crazy for Crust

Sweet and Spicy Pretzels

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A little bit sweet and a little bit spicy, these Sweet & Spicy Pretzels are the perfect snack or party food!

Sweet and Spicy Pretzels (1 of 7)w

Things I didn’t know until last week:

  1. My backyard hose has a leak.
  2. A pool should take 12-24 hours to fill.
  3. Running water for over 24 hours will either (a) drive you insane (b) be really loud, louder than you’d think it would be, (c) cause you to dream about overflowing pools or (d) all of the above.
  4. Our pool took over 30 hours to fill. See #1.
  5. The pool company who starts the hose won’t check for leaks. You really should do that before 24 hours are up.
  6. I’m going to need to get a lot of pageviews to pay the water bill next month.

Things I did know before last week: these sweet & spicy pretzels are good. They’re good for an afternoon snack because regular pretzels are booooring. Also? They’re great for a party. I think there is a big game on this weekend? Or something?

Sweet and Spicy Pretzels

When I came up with these pretzels I was in the middle of eating boring, plain pretzels. I wanted the pretzels to be not boring. Then I remembered these nuts which reminded me of the sweet & spicy walnuts I always used to make at Christmas, BFB (before food blogging, as in when I made something more than once).

Those walnuts were tossed in maple syrup and then coated in a sugar and spices to make a sweet nut with a little heat. I wondered if I could do it with pretzels. Guess what? You can!

This is a super easy recipe. Let’s talk about it:

  • I used Sourdough Nibblers because I wanted something smaller and more compact than a traditional pretzel. You could use regular mini twists or sticks, or even those little pretzel balls they make now.
  • To replicate the walnut recipe, I heated up the pretzels before stirring them in maple syrup. You just warm them up in the oven for a few minutes, until they’re hot. This makes tossing them in the syrup easier.
  • The spice mixture has sugar and several spices, including cayenne pepper. I gave a range (1/4-1/2 teaspoon) in the recipe. I used 1/2 teaspoon and there was a major kick to the pretzels. If you like less spicy, add less.
  • Once they cool, the spice coating hardens, so you can pile them in a bowl and munch on them as the day goes by.

I kind of like how the nibblers look like little footballs. Perfect for the big game, ahem. And those won’t be deflated when the game starts. (Oh, snap, I went there.)

Sweet and Spicy Pretzels (2 of 7)

Is  it me or does looking at that bowl make you want either a diet coke or a beer?

Nom nom nom!

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Servings: 4 cups

Sweet & Spicy Pretzels

The perfect snack for parties, afternoon munchies, or gifts! Pretzels are coated with maple syrup and a spicy sweet cinnamon mixture. It's addicting!


  • 4 cups pretzel nibblers — small pretzel bites, see note
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper — see note
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons maple syrup


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silpat baking mat. Place pretzels on the cookie sheet.
  2. Mix sugar and all spices in a small bowl. Place maple syrup in a large bowl.
  3. Bake the pretzels for about 3-5 minutes, until they’re hot to the touch. Pour the pretzels in the large bowl of maple syrup, toss to coat. Sprinkle the spice mixture over the top and stir to coat. Turn out the pretzels on the cookie sheet and let cool completely.
  4. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.

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Sweets from friends:
Buffalo Wing Pretzel Sticks by Mom on Timeout
Churro Pretzels by Oh Sweet Basil
Mom’s Seasoned Pretzels by Sally’s Baking Addiction

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  1. Definitely the beer. Pretzels and beer are classic. And these pretzels are so much more exciting than the plain kind!
    Sorry about your water bill, though. At least it’s warm enough to swim! Just drove to work in the snow…ick.

  2. Yum! These pretzels look like the perfect snack, Dorothy! I love spicing them up like this. Sounds like the perfect flavor combo! Pinned!

  3. YES to wanting a diet coke! That would be the perfect combo!
    Love the salty/sweet and spicy yums that you’ve got going on here….and I hope you made enough to munch on and forget all your pool woes!

  4. I like sweet and spicy combos! Yum! The thought of getting into a pool in January makes me cringe. I’d prefer a hot tub 🙂

  5. The pool sounds like a total pain in the rump. But yay for yummy pretzels. Sweet and spicy is always a great combination. These would be a huge hit at my house!

  6. Hope you can get the leak fixed, Dorothy! These pretzels look insanely addicting. I would have trouble sharing these for sure. 🙂

  7. Love snacking on pretzels like this! Perfect addition to a game day spread!

  8. These are perfect for game day!  Pinned!

  9. Ouch, that is a long time to refill a pool and with a leak! These look so munchable and moreish, perfect for snacking. 

  10. Oh, there’s some sort of game this weekend? I wasn’t aware.. 🙂
    These sound addicting, and perfect for game day!

  11. Oh shoot, water leak! Hope you get all the PVs you need. 😉
    And these pretzel bites are what I crave, sweet and salty!

  12. These look so good! But I won’t be able to stop snacking on them so they are dangerous! Yum! 

  13. I started going to a new-to-me grocery store a few weeks ago and their bulk bins are unreal. Could make a meal 🙂 Anyway they have these in their bins and I can’t even buy them because I have zero willpower! Yours look amazing! 

  14. These look so addicting and perfectly pop-able! Sweet and spicy all the way! But if I made these for the super bowl, I don’t think I would be able to share them with our friends and family. 😉 Yum!

  15. De – Lish! I love the sweet & spice in these pretzels!! Such a fun game day snack! Pinned!

  16. Before food blogging, as in when I made something more than once <– SO true!! I can't remember the last time I didn't make something more than once (and recipe testing to get it perfect doesn't count). If anyone besides me in this household ate the desserts I baked, it'd probably drive them insane… 😉 But sweet & spicy is right up both of our alleys! They look delicious Dorothy!

  17. Oh la la 🙂 this is right up my alley. Not “that” alley. Valentines may be coming but I’m a g-rated girl 😉 these look fantastic!

  18. A little kick to these sounds great. How about a pic of the finished pool?

  19. Lol – a big game, indeed! I’m mourning the fact that football season is coming to a close. So sad about it. However, I am excited to eat lots of pizza, wings, and awesome snacks like these *fabulous* pretzels! I love that this is a quick and simple recipe. The spices together sound perfect! Btw, those biscoff and toffee pretzel rods are flippin’ genius!

  20. Ouch, that water bill is going to hurt!!! These looks fantastic, I am going to give them a try this weekend while I pretend to watch the game 😉

  21. I love honey mustard pretzels but never get them because I would probably polish off the bag quicker than anyone should. Apparently I’m throwing caution to the wind because I need to pin these to make sometime soon! Love sweet and spicy combinations!

  22. Those sound absolutely fantastic!  I love sweet and spicy combos, especially when combined with pretzels.  Definitely making these soon!

  23. High water bills are a bummer!  We got a letter recently from our power company, complete with graphs, pointing out that our power bills are higher than our neighbors’  during the summer.  And we are the only ones with a pool.  You would think they know that.

  24. Eeks, sorry to hear about the pool and leaky  hose.  Love these pretzels though. They look amazing and I love the sweet and spicy combo! 

  25. What is it about a snow storm that makes me want to snack all day long. I wish I had a bowl of these in front of me. And I would be OK with eating the whole thing!

  26. These pretzels sound like a wonderful idea and the perfect game watching food 🙂 Yum!!

  27. Mmm I bet I would love these! So much. Better than plain ol pretzels 😉 and so sorry about your hose/pool!

  28. I made pretzels for the first time today.  Only yours look way better!!

  29. oh yes!! I do need a coke right now, will be perfect with these pretzel bites! delicious pictures, Dorothy! pinned!

  30. Oooo. I need a handful or two of these pretzels. I have a thing for sweet and spicy.  I have to give this recipe a try especially since it looks pretty easy to put together. 😀

  31. Oh no..I need to make these right now.  I have a big bag of pretzels I haven’t been interested in eating.  Hopefully my husband comes home soon to stop me. 🙂

  32. Oh dear! WEll hopefully these babies get you some serious pageviews to pay your bills, because they look delicious 🙂

  33. The pool thing? That is seriously the worst! My sympathies (although I’m not sure how much that helps) are with you! But these pretzels? Yeah, they look like a thing of glory! Pinned! 

  34. All these snacks look delicious and perfect food for the game.

  35. pass me a coke and that bowl! I love a snack that packs a punch

  36. These would be great for the big game day and I bet a mustard based sauce would taste delicious with these. Maple syrup is always a great  option as well. 🙂

  37. Okay I just made these, and OMG! They are so good! I can’t stay out of them!!  Only one problem, I had to actually put mine back in the oven and bake them a little while longer because they never actually got crunchy on the outside after I coated them. But a few minutes in the oven and they are perfect!! Now to just stay out of them long enough to last until the big game tomorrow!!

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