Barbecue Trail Mix

  • Serves

    makes 4 cups

  • Cook

    2 hours


Chef Edward Lee of nouveau Southern restaurant 610 Magnolia, in Louisville, Kentucky, created this explosively flavored trail mix for his 22-city Smoke and Pickles (Artisan, 2013) cookbook tour. He uses three kinds of nuts (cashews, pecans, Marcona almonds), two kinds of dried fruit (apricots, figs), cacao nibs, and a flurry of spices (cinnamon, cumin, and more). Barbecue sauce and bacon glazed with maple syrup add an irresistible savory-sweet tang to the snack.


  • 4 slices bacon
  • 12 cup cashews
  • 12 cup pecans
  • 12 cup sesame sticks
  • 14 cup cacao nibs
  • 14 cup Marcona almonds
  • 14 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 12 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 tsp. garlic powder
  • 12 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 14 tsp. cayenne
  • 14 tsp. cinnamon
  • 14 tsp. cumin
  • 14 cup barbecue sauce
  • 6 dried apricots, thinly sliced
  • 3 dried figs, thinly sliced


Step 1

Heat oven to 250°. Lay bacon on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet fitted with a wire rack. Brush bacon with maple syrup; bake until the fat has rendered and the bacon is dry like jerky, 1–1 1⁄2 hours. Let bacon cool and chop into 1⁄2″ pieces; set aside. Heat oven to 300°. Heat a 12″ skillet over medium; toast cashews, pecans, sesame sticks, cacao nibs, almonds, and pumpkin seeds until fragrant and beginning to color, 3–5 minutes. Add butter, sugar, salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne, cinnamon, and cumin; toss to melt butter. Remove from heat and stir in barbecue sauce; spread evenly onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake, stirring occasionally, until mixture is dry and toasted, about 25 minutes. Stir in reserved bacon, the apricots, and figs; bake 15 minutes more. Let trail mix cool completely before serving. Store in an airtight container up to 1 month.

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