Kate of ¡HOLA! JALAPEÑO and I became friends back when we worked together in the CHOW Test Kitchens. We'd cook together and then inspire and critique each other and I know I became a better cook because of it. Though we worked together a long time, I knew we were friends when I got an invite to her annual Tamalada party. If you haven't heard, a tamalada is like a cookie swap but with tamales—as in friends come together during the holidays to make tons and tons of tamales.
It's a lot of work but fun if you do it with the right crowd so we decided to recreate a virtual Tamalada this year. We'll be sharing all the details soon but know that you'll want plenty of snacks to make it through the task. Enter this Mex Mix, which is, as you probably guessed, a Mexican-twist on Chex Mix because it's made with plantains, pepitas, and finished in a chocolate-spiced coating and is totally addictive. Kate made some of her seriously good Cranberry Agua Fresca and it was a total hit!
Heat the oven to 350°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with a baking mat or parchment. Place the nuts on the baking sheet and roast until they smell toasted, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside while you make the coating. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat the brown sugar, spices, maple syrup, and melted butter or coconut oil over medium heat. Stir until the mixture is liquid and just begins to bubble.
Combine the roasted nuts with the remaining ingredients in a large bowl, pour in the spice mixture from the saucepan and stir until well coated. Turn the mixture on the prepared baking sheet and bake until the mixture bubbles and the nuts are fragrant, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the mixture from the oven and let everything cool completely before storing it.
The snack mix will stay fresh for about a week when stored in an airtight container.