Sugar and Spice Nuts
If you are looking for a great gift that is quick and tasty, try these nuts. They’re addicting. The great thing about this recipe is that it’s not a recipe. I used the nuts and spices that I like. You can use what you like. You don’t have to use the same spices or amounts. The nuts can be just candied using only sugar and a bit of salt. I suggest when you mix the salt and spices in a bowl that you also taste them. Put them on your tongue and wait a few minutes. You can adjust the spices and sugar as you like. Keep in mind that when you bake the nuts, the flavors will intensify.
1 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. chili powder
¼ cayenne pepper
¼ tsp. paprika
2 tsp. cinnamon
3 egg whites
9 oz. container of almonds (just over two cups)
9 oz. container of cashews (just over two cups)
7 oz. container pecans (just over two cups)
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. I wouldn’t try this without parchment. The sugars and spices get dark and very sticky. Parchment is a gift from the baking gods. The cooled nuts come right off the parchment with minimal cleanup. In a small bowl, whisk the sugar, salt, chili powder, cinnamon, paprika, and cayenne. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until frothy, not firm. Egg whites are the glue to the spices and sugar. My trick is to use powdered egg whites. I hate wasting egg yokes. The powdered egg whites are great to use for meringue also. They last a long time in a cool, dry place. You can absolutely use a regular egg white. Add the nuts and spiced sugar mixture to the egg whites and mix completely. Spread out the nuts on the parchment lined baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes. I stirred the nuts every 15 minutes. Let the nuts cool on the baking sheet. Break up the nuts as they harden.
Store nuts in an airtight container for several days.