Sweet and Spicy Nuts

I don’t think there is a day that ends without my eating pecans, wasabi almonds, salted peanuts . . . or some type of nut. I change the kinds of nuts almost every time I make these — I almost always add pepitas/pumpkin seeds, and when I’m feeling extravagant, I buy macadamia nuts at Trader Joe’s. These are Kara’s favorite — and my VERY VERY CLOSE to favorite.

Makes about 6 cups

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
5 T. unsalted butter
½ cup, packed, golden brown sugar
¼ c. water
1 T. chili powder
1 ½ t. salt
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. dried oregano
½ t. ground black pepper
¼ t. cayenne pepper
2 c. walnut halves
2 c. pecan halves
2 c. whole almonds

Preheat oven to 300°.  Spray large baking sheet with nonstick spray.  Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add next 8 ingredients; stir until sugar dissolves, about 1 minute.  Add all nuts; stir until butter mixture coats nuts thickly, about 2 minutes.

Spread nut mixture in single layer on prepared sheet.  Bake until nuts are glazed and deep brown, stirring often, about 25 minutes.  Cool nuts completely on sheet, stirring occasionally.  (Can be made 1 week ahead.  Store airtight at room temp.)

Bon Appetit, Nov. 2002

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