This spiced nut recipe is worth every minute of stirring them on the stove– all ten minutes!  They disappear quickly, like there are mice with opposable thumbs who can open tins and jars.

Sweet & Spiced Party Nuts

Feel free to customize your nut mixture. Pecans and cashews are my favorite, but walnuts, almonds, and peanuts are also good.  Measuring out the spices and nuts before beginning is helpful with this recipe.
walnut halves in a pan
2 T butter
2 T water
1/3 c brown sugar
1/4 t ground cinnamon
1/8 t ground red chili pepper or cayenne pepper
1/8 t smoked paprika
1/4 t ground cumin
2 c mixed nuts (raw or roasted)
Salt to taste (up to 1/2 t)

Melt butter in a frying pan.  Add the brown sugar, water, and spices. Mix well. When the sugar has melted, add the nuts. Stir gently until the mixture is nearly dry and the nuts are toasted. Look for the texture of maple sugar candy forming on the nuts.  Spread on parchment paper to cool.  Break up any larger clumps and place in airtight containers for storage.

Optional: Toast in the oven for extra-crisp nuts. (Up to 10 minutes, at 375 degrees Fahrenheit, stirring every five minutes). This gives you a harder shelled candy nut while the pan-fried version is softer.

Thinking Gifts?

  • Try a mason jar with a ribbon (1 cup to 2 cups).
  • Use a small cookie tin (2 cups to 4 cups).
  • Pull out small gift bags sold for holiday cookies (1/4 to 1/2 cup).

Why are you publishing a recipe with sugar?!

There’s some research suggesting that people who think of food in the categories of “good” and “bad” actually struggle more with satisfaction and eating a well-rounded diet.  Joy is an important part of our food lives– and I find recipes like this to be chock full of pleasure.  Most (but not all) people will occasionally tolerate a small amount of sugar without negative consequences.  Those of you who don’t, check out an entrée recipe.

It’s also a fun way to get in a serving or two of nuts– if you’re working on the MIND diet!

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