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spicy 'n sweet maple-y nuts

Posted Dec 03 2008 12:16am

Just popping in for a quick post- I can never bear to let the blog sit idle for long! Here is a recipe for some spicy and sweet nuts. I made these for the first time for our Halloween party, and they were so good they've become a favorite around here. This is a perfect dish for this time of year, when everyone can use a quick, easy, and healthy snacky food for parties and get-togethers, plus now is a great time to stock up on nuts in their shells since most stores carry them in time for the holidays.

I got the inspiration for this recipehere at 28 cooks, but made quite a few changes. The combination of mapley sweetness and spice is perfect, and the nuts become really crunchy and caramelized. Oh and bonus- nuts are great brain food, perfect for studying for those final exams and powering through those term papers! Just sayin'...

spicy 'n sweet maple-y nuts
  • 2 c raw nuts (I used a mixture of walnuts, almonds, cashews, and hazelnuts, but mix it up according to your favorites!)
  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 1/4 c maple sugar
  • 1-2 tsp. agave nectar, as necessary (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
  • pinch of pepper and/or cayenne pepper

In large pan, combine walnuts and sugar over medium high heat. I used my cast-iron pan for this. Stir frequently until sugar starts to melt. At first, it doesn't appear that the maple sugar is melting, but give it time. You might want to add a little bit of agave nectar at this point to help the melting process along. Lower heat, and stir continuously for 4-6 minutes, or until sugar starts to fully melt and cover nuts. Add spices and continue to cook for an additional minute or two, until nuts are well glazed and seasonings are well mixed in. Be careful not to burn- if you're using cast-iron, it will continue to be hot for a few minutes after you lower or turn off your heat, so calculate accordingly. Pour onto sheet of wax paper on a cooling rack, and spread out. Allow to cool. Store in tightly-sealed container.


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