Archive for the ‘Giftable’ Category


Spicy Mixed Nuts

December 18, 2012


With sweets galore this time of year, how about a savory treat to nibble on? These Spicy Mixed Nuts are great for a party snack or for a homemade gift.

After trying a new recipe for sweet and spicy nuts that didn’t turn out great, I went back to this Martha Stewart recipe that I made years ago, and adapted it for the nuts I had on hand and a combination of spices that sounded good to me (the spices were inspired by the recipe that didn’t turn out so great).  These are full of savory goodness and just a bit of heat, which of course you can control by using more or less cayenne. Get creative and tweak the recipe to use the nuts and spices that you like.

Spicy mixed nuts

adapted from Martha Stewart’s Spiced Nuts

1 large egg white
1/4 cup sugar (I went easy on the sugar and used a little less than 1/4 cup)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 1/2 cups unsalted nuts (I used pecans, cashews, peanuts)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a large bowl, beat egg white until soft and foamy. Mix in sugar and spices. Stir in nuts until well coated; spread mixture in single layer onto a 9×13″ baking pan coated with cooking spray.

Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from oven and toss, stir, and separate nuts. Reduce oven to 250 degrees and return nuts to bake until medium brown, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven; toss, and stir again. Place baking pan on wire rack to cool (they will crisp as they cool). Break up any that stick together.

Butter Toffee Nuts with Sea Salt

December 18, 2011

I branched out from my go-to nut recipes this Christmas and made these Butter Toffee Nuts with Sea Salt that I saw in O Magazine. Crunchy, sweet, and salty with a touch of nutmeg.  Great for giving as gifts or for serving to guests, but make some extras for nibbling!

Recipe notes

  • I used pecans, walnuts, and cashews.
  • I didn’t sprinkle with additional salt.
  • It takes a while for the sugar to caramelize, but keep stirring and it will happen. As the recipe explains, the mixture will become dry and powdery and then will melt and become glossy. It goes quickly at the end, so take care not to burn it.
  • The recipe provides amounts for a standard batch and a large batch. The large batch is really large: 6 cups of sugar and 15 cups of nuts. You would need a really large pan to make the large batch!
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