First, a warning: these are addictive.
Another recipe that we picked up from Dorie Greenspan, this one from Around my French Table. Like all her recipes we’ve tried, this one is a keeper, and, with the holidays coming up, we’ll make this one for snacking. By the way, we like to double this recipe. As we said, they are addictive.
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- Pinch of cayenne
- 1 large egg white
- 2 cups nuts
Ingredients discussion: Yes! Chili powder. It doesn’t sound like it would be good, but it is. For the nuts, we use a mix: walnut halves, whole cashews, whole almonds, etc. Don’t use pieces and make sure they aren’t pre-salted or anything. We buy raw nuts. Finally, in a double batch, we use about 1/8 tsp of cayenne.
Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. If you have neither, spray the sheet with cooking spray, and seriously consider getting parchment paper or a mat. Non-stick, easy-peasy cleanup, zero downside.
Mix all the dry ingredients in a small bowl. Simple, huh? Mix them well. Once you add the dry ingredients to the nuts, you’ll not have another chance, and you want to get a bite of sweet, savory, spicy in each nut.
Fork the egg white in a large bowl. Basically just whisk the white a bit. You want the white broken up, not that slimy snotty texture (sorry, only way I can think to describe it, right off-hand).
Toss in the nuts. That’s right; toss them in the egg white until coated. As you probably have guessed, that makes the sugar mixture stick, which is a perfect segue into….
Stir in the sugar mixture. Dump it in and stir the nuts around until coated with the sugar mixture. Really stir it around. Get that sugar mixture into all nooks and crannies of the nuts, especially the walnuts. But don’t stir so hard that you break the nuts; that would defeat the purpose of buying whole nuts.
Put the nuts on the prepared baking sheet. Use your fingers — don’t worry, they’ll wash — and place the nuts on the sheet, trying to keep them separated. You won’t be able to do it, but try.
Bake for 30-35 minutes. Bake until the nuts are dry. Yes, just reach in carefully touch them — you did wash after placing the nuts on the pan, didn’t you? — to see if they feel dry. If not, bake a while longer. Otherwise, take ’em out.
Let cool for about 10 minutes. Then break apart any nuts stuck together, and let the nuts cool completely. Transfer to an airtight container (except those nuts that look just like they must be eaten).
There, you just scratched up a super tasty snack. Enjoy! Five stars.