==========================================Grab a frying pan (preferably not the Teflon-type)
== Set stove at medium heat
== Toss your favorite nuts in it (this time I used pumpkin seeds, cashews, sliced almonds & sunflower seeds)
(no need to add any oil or butter)
== Keep an eye on them as they can burn real quickly & this usually happens when you are sure it won't
== After you've toasted the nuts for about 6 or 7 minutes start adding your flavors.
== This time I added a bit of cayenne pepper, cinnamon, a pinch of salt, pepper, paprika and maple sugar.
== After you allow them to become friendly with each other stand back (*) and toss a teaspoon (more if you are brave and adventurous) of some good balsamic vinegar. (**)
== Stir for a wee bit longer, a couple of minutes, so that all the flavors can mingle nicely.
== Take off flame.
== Spread on some wax paper. If you don't have wax paper you can leave it to cool on the pan...but, it will be a bear scraping the nuts off once the sugars have solidified. Washing the pan is easy if you soak it in hot water for a bit.
== Allow to cool & pat yourself on the back profusely for not buying the pre-made, chemically-laden, store-bought stuff. Enjoy.
(*) the smell of the vinegar hitting the hot pan will make your nostrils go bonkers...you seriously don't want to breathe that...plus, it might splatter just a bit.
(**) by good I mean something a bit more aged, if you have it, as it has a inherent sweetness that will only enhance the taste of your final product...doesn't have to be expensive (I buy mine at discount stores only). Whatever you do, do not use plain wine vinegar as it will ruin the whole thing.
LAST NOTE: this can also be done in the oven. I prefer stove top because #1. it uses a lot less energy than the oven, and #2. I prefer to keep an eye on the nuts while doing other stuff around the kitchen and this is much easily achieved while stove top cooking them. But that's just me.