Tiki Snack Mix

Bacon and Pineapple? How delicious does that sound?!

When I came across this recipe in the November 2010 edition of Food & Wine magazine in an article on their best party snacks from their latest cookbook (Reinventing the Classics), I knew I'd be making it at some point. This snack mix is a Polynesian take on the classic bar snack of honey-glazed peanuts.

I made this mix for a gathering of family we had our house this past weekend. I thought it'd be perfect with wine and cocktails, and would be a fun addition to the other appetizers I was making. Though I knew the guys would love this bacon laden treat, this snack mix was a HUGE hit with everyone.  The Husband said it was one of the best things he'd put in his mouth. Although this recipe made about 4 cups of this mixture, it was gobbled up in no time.

This mix really hits on so many tastes - saltiness and smokiness from the bacon and peanuts, a little tang from the soy sauce, background heat from the cayenne and a nice sweetness from the honey that candies everything and the candied pineapple.

Though it takes a little time to prepare because you have to bake the bacon and then bake the mix, it is super easy and can be made ahead of time. I made it Friday morning, put it in airtight containers and served it that evening.

Tiki Snack Mix

8 thick slices of meaty bacon
3 cups salted roasted peanuts
4 candied pineapple rings, cut into 1/3-inch triangles
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 350°. Arrange the bacon in a single layer on a rack set over a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the bacon is almost crisp. Drain on paper towels and cut into 1/2-inch strips.

In a bowl, toss the bacon with the peanuts, pineapple, sesame seeds, soy sauce, honey and cayenne. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, stirring once, until the bacon is browned. Season the mix with salt and stir occasionally until cool, then serve.