I had three main goals for our annual holiday party last weekend: make all of the snacks and hors d’oeuvres, have lots of good craft beer and plenty of wine on hand, and make eggnog. I’m pleased to say I was successful on all counts. So for this post, I wanted to highlight these candied nuts, which were a big hit and didn’t last very long. Stay tuned for another post on the homemade eggnog.
I found this recipe on the Smitten Kitchen blog, which came via Hill Country Barbecue in NYC. Of all the recipes I found online, this seemed the most straightforward and simple. It’s also very adaptable – you can pretty much use any type of nut you want, spice it up with some cayenne (or not), or add a savory twist with a little more salt. They’re great for serving at parties, but as the Smitten Kitchen post noted, they also make for nice holiday gifts.
Candied Nuts Recipe from Hill Country Barbecue via Smitten Kitchen
1/3 cup dark-brown sugar
2/3 cup white granulated sugar
1 1/2 tspn kosher salt
1/4 tspn smoked paprika (optional, or you can use a pinch of cayenne pepper for a spicy kick)
1 tspn ground cinnamon
1 lb nuts (I did two batches with walnuts and almonds)
1 egg white
Splash of water
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Mix together the brown and white sugar, salt, paprika or cayenne (optional), and cinnamon, making sure there are no lumps. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the egg white with a splash of water until frothy but not stiff. Add walnuts and stir to coat. Add the sugar mixture and toss until evenly coated.
Spread sugared nuts in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined 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 and break up any that stick together.