The problem is that when I ask him what he’d like me to make, I’m met with idunno’s, whateveryouwant’s, and idontcare’s.
If someone was cooking for me and asked me what I wanted, I could tell them right down to the gram how big to make a wad of cookie dough so it bakes into perfect cookies . My husband, well, not so much.
But he likes nuts, especially candied nuts. They’re salty-and-sweet, crunchy, and highly addictive. Most people can’t say no. Although I don’t like nuts baked into desserts, on their own, I can go to town on them.
The smell of candied nuts wafting through the shopping malls before Christmas is positively intoxicating. Something so good shouldn’t be confined to just a month or two of the year.
These shopping mall-style candied nuts are fast and easy to make and ready in a half hour. The aroma that wafts through your house while they bake is so intoxicating that you’ll wish you could bottle it.
For this mix, I used 1 cup each of pecans, walnuts, and almonds. Pecans are great here because their nooks and crannies trap the coating mixture especially well.
In the coating mixture, I used one tablespoon of cinnamon and one-half teaspoon of cayenne pepper. The nuts aren’t intense firebombs where you’ll need to immediately guzzle water. Rather, it’s a creeper heat. The kind that sneaks up on you.
After a handful, your sinuses will be wide open, but you’ll reach for another handful. Food with heat is addictive. The more you have, the more you want.
If you’re not into heat, either reduce or eliminate the cayenne. Still tasty, minus the open sinuses.
The sweet-with-heat, caramelized, crispy, brown sugary coating is so good.
The stray bits of it that fall off are even better than the nuts themselves for me. I love finding bonus chunks of it laying loose in the jar. It’s the streusel topping principle. I love to pick at any sort of brown sugary crumbs .
The nuts make great last-minute gifts and anything homemade in under a half hour is a winner. Don’t wait for Christmas. Bring some to a summer bbq, a pool party, or a neighborhood cookout. You’ll be the hit of the party as people stand around crunching and munching.
We’ve been doing our share of crunching and munching alright.
Sweet with Heat Cinnamon Sugar Candied Nuts
Yield:about 4 cups
Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time:30 minutes
Total Time:40 minutes
3 cups nuts (pecans work very well to absorb the coating; I used 1 cup each of pecans, walnuts, and almonds. All were raw and unsalted)
1 egg white, whisked to frothy
1 tablespoon water
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed (light or dark is fine)
2+ teaspoons cinnamon (I used 1 tablespoon)
1 teaspoon Kosher salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste (reduce to 1/4 teaspoon for milder heat)
Preheat oven to 300F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
In a large bowl, add the nuts; set aside. I used 1 cup each of pecans, walnuts, and almonds. All were raw and unsalted.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg white and water until frothy, foamy, and bubbly, about 2 minutes by hand. Pour mixture over nuts and toss to coat evenly; set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining 5 ingredients. Dump over the nuts and toss to coat evenly.
Turn nuts out onto to prepared baking tray, spreading them in an even flat layer.
Bake for 28 to 30 minutes, or until coasting is crisped, dried and candied. Stir nuts once midway through cooking. Lift the parchment paper with the nuts on it off the baking tray, set it on the counter, and allow nuts to cool.
When nuts are cool enough to handle, if desired, break apart large clusters.
Transfer nuts to airtight containers or jars. Nuts will keep airtight at room temperature for at least 1 month.
Recipe from Averie Cooks . All images and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or simply link back to this post for the recipe. Thank you.