Friday, November 29, 2013

Holiday Addition: Sweet and Spicy Candied Nuts

Despite the rising market costs of pecans this year (which I figured out and still had Mom and Dad ship me many pounds from the Thompson Family Pecan Farm in Hurricane, UT ... please support your local small business/farmer ), I was in the mood to use up the extra nuts from my pecan pie tartlets and NOT make brittle. My friend prefers spicy over sweet in her flavor palette, so I wanted to try to make a version of  of sweet and spicy candied nuts.

I found this one on the Internet late on Wednesday night before Thanksgiving, and given how much of it I ate before I bagged it up for travel, I'd say it was a success.

I used other nuts than the recommendation, because that's what I had taking up space in the pantry. Little bags of leftover seeds and nuts take up room, so I have no specific quantities. I also used more butter than called for because of leftover stick remainder from other baking projects.

Real Simple
Sweet and Spicy Candied Nuts 

Serves 8
Hands-On Time: 10m
Total Time: 45m

1/2 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter(maybe I added a bit more)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (maybe I added a bit more) 
1/2 cup almonds*
1/2 cup pistachios
1/2 cup pecans
1/4 cup granulated sugar


Heat oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment; set aside.

Combine the brown sugar, butter, 1 teaspoon salt, and cayenne in a large pot over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until melted, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the almonds, pistachios, and pecans and stir to coat.

Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and spread in a single layer. Bake, tossing once, until golden brown and glazed, 17 to 22 minutes. Stir**, then let cool; break into clumps. Toss with the granulated sugar.

Tip: If you don’t want the nuts to be spicy, try substituting 1/4 teaspoon each cinnamon and ginger plus a pinch of nutmeg.

* I used pecans, sunflower seeds, sliced almonds, and leftover cinnamon&sugared whole almonds for sweet to offset the spice. 

**I forgot this step until the stuff was almost hardened. I broke it up while it was warm, and then once I LIBERALLY coated with the white sugar, I broke it up more when I mixed it.

 Taken on Thanksgiving Day.

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