December 19, 2011

Spiced Nuts

Love this recipe. I have tried a few variations and this is my favorite.  You can make sweet, spicy and even savory flavors. For the savory nut recipe, it used salt and fresh rosemary,  but I still prefer the sweet variation! Nothing taste (and smells) better than fresh nutmeg and cinnamon on these nuts. 

I've used several types of nuts and I prefer a half/half combination of almonds and pecans. Walnuts don't taste as good with this recipe.

Sugar and Spice  
1 lb nuts
1 egg white
1 tbspn water
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp cinnamon (fresh if possible)
1 tsp nutmeg (fresh if possible)

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. 

2. Mix together the sugars, salt, cayenne pepper, cinnamon (freshly grated if possible) and nutmeg (freshly if possible). Set aside.
2. Whisk the egg white with water until frothy. No need to bring out your hand mixer, just use your handy dandy arm and whisk for about a minute. Put the nuts into a large bowl and add the egg white mixture. Mix well to ensure all the nuts are coated.
3. Add the sugar mixture to the wet nuts.

4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Don't skip this part! Otherwise, you will have a hot sugary mess stuck on your baking sheet and give you much grief cleaning...  Spread the nuts evenly on the baking sheet. Bake for about 30 minutes. 
5. Let the nuts sit on the counter for about 2-3 minutes. Then, taking two forks, start to separate the nuts into individual pieces. Again, don't skip this part or you will have large clusters of nuts. I like to lightly dust the top with a little more cinnamon and white sugar - optional.  Store in an airtight container and these will be good for at least two weeks.

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