A few weeks ago, I bought a canister of honey roasted peanuts for the sole purpose of chopping them up and pressing them into the sides of my peanut butter layer cake with chocolate frosting. Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve been totally infatuated with honey roasted peanuts. I never buy them because I will, without fail, eat the entire jar in a matter of days. It’s embarrassing.
I managed to show some semblance of restraint this time and it lasted quite a bit longer, with my husband and I stealing a handful at a time. One night, he asked if I could make some homemade honey roasted peanuts, and could I pretty-please-with-a-cherry-on-top make them a little spicy, too? I said sure and then forgot about it for a solid two weeks. Oops.
It ended up taking a few tries and some trial and error, but we arrived at some pretty fabulous honey roasted peanuts with a spicy little kick.
These are really very simple to make and I think the flavor is infinitely better than the store-bought version. While my husband had a specific request for spicy honey roasted peanuts, you could absolutely leave the cayenne pepper out and have yourself some traditional honey roasted peanuts.
I love the idea of using this same process with almonds and pecans around the holidays – they would make a great snack, appetizer or even hostess gift. Put some the peanuts in a jar and tie with a pretty ribbon… perfect!
Being able to make these at home in short order will in no way help my obsession with honey roasted peanuts, but oh my goodness are they delicious!
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place the peanuts in a large bowl.
Microwave the honey in a medium bowl for 30 seconds (it will begin to bubble). Remove from the microwave and stir in ¼ cup of the sugar, the salt and cayenne pepper. Immediately pour the mixture over the peanuts and stir with a wooden spoon until they are all coated with the honey mixture.
Transfer the peanuts to the prepared baking sheet and spread into a single layer. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until they begin to turn a golden brown.
Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 2 minutes, then stir the peanuts. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the sugar over the peanut and stir to coat evenly. Spread the peanuts out into a single layer and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and allow to cool completely. Once cool, break apart any peanuts that have stuck together and toss with any loose sugar. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 months.