Sweet and Spicy Mixed Nuts

I have been wanting to make a homemade version of spiced nuts for more than a few years now. My mom loves nuts, especially cashews, and for a long time I would stop at a kiosk at the mall and buy the cinnamon-dusted almonds and cashews to put in her stocking. The last year or two, however, I haven’t seen that kiosk and they have been missing. I knew that it would be simple to make at home, but never made the time to do some playing around to see what I liked. Well, after a week of nothing but sweets and four holiday meals in the course of two days, I thought it might be a good time to do some experimenting with savory snacks, especially since New Year’s is right around the corner. These nuts take about 10 minutes to make and are deliciously addicting.

They are mostly spicy, but have a sweet undertone, which is the perfect balance. I used pecans and walnuts here, but you could easily substitute any combination of your favorite nuts – cashews, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, peanuts… whatever tickles your fancy. A great snack with a nice kick!

I love the idea of putting a bowl of these nuts out for guests to munch on alongside appetizers, or during a cocktail hour. You could also put them in a little clear bag, tie with a ribbon and bring them, along with a bottle of wine, as a hostess guest if you are going to someone else’s place for New Year’s Eve (or any other party for that matter).

Three years ago: Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

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Sweet and Spicy Mixed Nuts

Ingredients:

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

¼ teaspoon chili powder

¼ teaspoon ground chipotle powder

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup walnuts

1 cup pecans

¼ cup light brown sugar

1 tablespoon water

1½ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

Dash hot sauce


Directions:

1. In a small bowl, combine the salt and spices; set aside. In a large heavy skillet, melt butter. Add walnuts and pecans; cook over medium heat until nuts are toasted, about 3 minutes.


2. Sprinkle with spice mixture and stir. Add the brown sugar, water, Worcestershire and hot sauce. Cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until sugar is melted. Spread on foil to cool. Store in an airtight container.


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(Recipe adapted from Taste of Home)


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