Monday, November 28, 2011

Aw, Nuts




I hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving! Ours was really relaxed, delicious and even included a spirited round of Taboo - doesn't get better!

This year, we didn't cook up the bird, but we did bring a side and a dessert. These homemade candied nuts are unbelievably easy and dangerously addictive. I used a mix of pecans, walnuts and hazelnuts - just perfect to throw in a salad or snack on in front of a roaring fireplace (at least, that's how I'd like to envision it). These would make a lovely holiday gift in a mason jar with a pretty red bow. Or, you can just eat them out of the pan while lounging in your pajamas. Whatever. ;)

Sugar-and-Spice Candied Nuts
Courtesy of Smitten Kitchen via Hill Country

1/3 cup dark-brown sugar
2/3 cup white granulated sugar
1-1.5 teaspoons kosher salt
Generous pinch of cayenne pepper or hot smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pound walnut or pecan halves or whole peeled hazelnuts
1 egg white, room temperature
1 tablespoon water

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix sugars, salt, cayenne, and cinnamon, making sure there are no lumps; set aside. Beat egg white and water until frothy but not stiff. Add walnuts, and stir to coat evenly. Sprinkle nuts with sugar mixture, and toss until evenly coated. Spread sugared nuts in a single layer on a cookie sheet fitted with parchment paper. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven, and separate nuts as they cool. When completely cool, pour the nuts into a bowl, breaking up any that stick together.

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