Thursday, January 7, 2010

sweet and spicy almonds and pecans

I remember the first time that my mom bought me one of those warm, paper cones filled with spiced nuts and just how thoroughly they seduced my young taste buds. I learned much later that, typically, spiced and sugared use egg whites as their adhesive, which is what results in that thick, crispy shell encasing each almond, pecan, or walnut.

In my version, a reduced simple syrup works to the same effect, and it's super easy. If you haven't noticed, I have a pretty high spice tolerance, so feel free to adjust all of these measurements to your own tastes. The cumin is subtle, but does add a nice savory note underneath it all.

sweet & spicy roasted nuts
1 lb almonds and pecans, mixed
1 c sugar
1 c water
3 tbs cinnamon
2 tbs allspice
2 tbs sugar
2 tsp cayenne
1 tsp cumin
dash of salt
Preheat the oven to 350. Spread the nuts in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Stir together all your spices and set aside. Mix together the sugar and water in a small saucepan and heat it, stirring constantly, over medium heat for 5 - 10 minutes. You want it to reduce enough so that it's syrupy and sticky. When it gets to that point, pour in the spices and stir well to incorporate. Pour the mixture over the nuts and stir with a rubber spatula until all the nuts are well-coated. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the nuts begin to brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. *This step is important, so that the nuts become crispy, and not soggy/mushy.

Store in glass jars for up to a month.

1 comment:

  1. Philippine pili nuts from the Bicol region in the Philippines is a great Filipino or Philippines food orsnack. Pili nuts are very healthy and nutritious indeed, being a source of energy, potassium and iron.They also have protein, dietary fiber / fibre, and calcium as well as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.  I know they have no cholesterol, no trans fat, and the unsalted ones have no sodium. What is great about the pili nut snack or treat is that they are so crisp, rich, and delicious.