Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Sweet and Spicy Cocktail Nuts: Perfect Little Bites of Nutty Goodness

Should I bother apologizing for the delay in posts, or does it just seem insincere now? I promise, I's been busy. But I think about posting all the time. Pinkie swear.

These were really delicious, and massively easy. The recipe is from a gorgeous cookbook called Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan. I was going to title this post 'Dorie Greenspan's Nuts' but it felt disrespectful. I have a feeling from her cookbook that she's a really nice person and I didn't want her to think I was making fun of her.

Hot nuts.
Basically you beat an egg white lightly, toss in a couple of cups of nuts until they're coated with the egg white, and then add a few teaspoons of spices and a significant amount of sugar. I think it's an excellent nibble to serve before dinner, and it would also make a nice little gift, given that the holiday season is fast approaching.

The nice thing is you can switch up the spices however you please - you could make these with curry powder, smoked paprika, or ground chipotle and cumin and cinnamon, which is what I did. The original recipe asked for predominantly chili powder, but I wasn't feeling that. Point is you can put any kind of combo in there, as long as you stay with things that work well together and try and stay with the amounts called for. You want them sweet, and spicy, but not in a punch-you-in-the-face kinda way.

Nuts that have pretty much cooled down.

Sweet and Spicy Cocktail Nuts
Pretty much lifted entirely from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan (who seems like a really nice person)

1/2 cup sugar      
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp chipotle powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 egg white, beaten
2 cups of whole or halved nuts         (I used cashews, almonds, peanuts, and walnuts - killer combo - but  seriously use whatever you happen to have)

Preheat the over to 300 degrees Farenheit. Measure and mix together the sugar and spices in a small bowl. I know it's a bit fussy with the teaspoons and the half teaspoons and whatnot, but there are times when measuring with those wee spoons makes me feel quite dainty - which I can get into. Again, feel free to mix and match your spices based on your tastes. In the original recipe, Greenspan uses chili powder but it's too evocative of actual chili for me so I veered into chipotle territory. I did not regret it.

If I could live in a permanent state of dinner party
attendance I think I'd be really happy.
In a larger bowl (that will fit all your nuts - God there are just so many jokes here), beat the egg white lightly, so it gets a bit separated and loosey-goosey. Toss the nuts into the egg and stir to coat. Then add the sugar and spices, and make sure everybody's evenly covered. Place the nuts on a single layer on a cookie sheet with a little lip. The nuts will mos def stick to the pan, so put down a layer of parchment paper or spray with non-stick cooking spray before you lay them down. Really make sure they're in a single layer, as you want them to cook evenly.

Bake them for 30 to 35 minutes, until they're browned and the coating looks to be completely dried. Transfer the nuts to a cutting board, breaking them up as necessary. Let them cool completely, then serve as a little snack or a nibble before dinner. I'm really into these little nibbles before dinner.

1 comment:

  1. Dorie IS a really nice person! And she has a great sense of humour, I doubt she would have been offended.

    I used to make candied nuts all the time when I worked at a restaurant and I always had to make a double batch because the cooks would eat half of them before I got a chance to use them.