Sugar and Spicy Nuts

As soon as I get a new magazine in the mail I flip through it, make a mental note of all the articles and recipes I have to go back and read at length, however the December issue of Food & Wine stopped me dead in my tracks. I flipped through what looked like the usual holiday recipes and then I saw it, a brief section on foods for entertaining. It read the “Perfect Party Snacks” and I quickly agreed that the two recipes on this page would become my next obsession.

The next morning I ran out of the house, food shopping list in hand ready to purchase every ingredient required for the two main snacks I was thrilled about making. Today I will share with you the Sugar-and-Spice Nuts recipe by party planner Bronson van Wyck in the December issue of Food & Wine. Here is what he said in the article, and I quote, “I like to take something that’s generally ordinary and do it really well. With cinnamon, salt and sugar, they hit a lot of spots on the tongue.” The chile powder and cayenne pepper in this snack gives it the perfect amount of spice. Not too sweet and not too spicy, but just right.

Once the nuts had come out of the oven I couldn’t wait to try them, but giving them time to cool off completely on the counter was well worth the wait. I tossed a handful of these little nuggets into my mouth and experienced the expected sweet taste of sugar and cinnamon but then came the salty and soon after the hint of chile–music to my tongue.

This batch will make about 5 cups and can be canned and given as gifts or set out for you and your guests to enjoy at a card game, dinner party, Bunco night, or football game. Beware; they will not last long, so if you are entertaining lots of folks, make a double batch.

Sugar and Spicy Nuts

Ingredients:

¾ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon chile powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 large egg white
2 cups raw cashews (9 ounces)
2 cups raw almonds (9 ounces)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Coat a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk the sugar, salt, chile powder, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper.

In a large mixing bowl beat the egg white until light and frothy. Add the cashews, almonds, and dry ingredients. Toss until all the nuts are coated.

Spread out the nuts on the baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes. Half way through the cooking time stir all the nuts around. Continue baking until browned.

Let the nuts cool on the baking sheet but remember to stir occasionally or they will get stuck to the baking sheet and other nuts.

Note: You can make these two days ahead of time but keep in an airtight container.

Food & Wine Magazine

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Written by Veronica / Photos by Veronica