Monday, November 21, 2011

Sweet and Spicy Candied Nuts

These nuts were super easy to make and would be a perfect snack before a big Thanksgiving dinner or even as a hostess gift. And they are oh so addicting. Don't even try to eat just one. I think it is the sweet/slightly spicy/salty thing that is irresistible. I made them with all almonds but they would also be great with walnuts or pecans. Just use whatever you have on hand. 

Sweet and Spicy Candied Nuts

1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne (use 1/4 tsp. if you like it spicy)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 egg white, at room temperature
1 tbsp. water
1 lb. nuts (pecan halves, walnut halves, and/or whole almonds)
Sea salt

Preheat the oven to 300°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk the sugars, salt, cayenne, and cinnamon together until no lumps remain. Set aside. 

In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites and water together until frothy. Add the nuts and stir to coat. Add the sugar/spice mixture and toss to coat. 

Transfer the nuts to the prepared baking sheets and spread out into a single layer. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with sea salt to taste. Allow to cool completely on the baking sheet. Break apart any nuts that stick together and transfer to an air-tight container.

Source: barely adapted from Smitten Kitchen, originally from Elizabeth Karmel of Hill Country

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