Saturday, November 16, 2013

Holiday Favorites #2

Sweet and Spicy Nuts from my book Perfect Party Food are a staple here at Chez Phillips; with just enough spice from cayenne, and a coating of raw sugar when they are done, these nuts are a great nibble, but they are also a terrific garnish for soups and salads and some desserts.  I usually make a huge batch and freeze them, just don't tell anyone they are in the freezer, because you may not find them when you go looking for them!

Sweet and Spicy Nuts
Makes about 2 cups

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon Lawry’s garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups pecan or walnut halves or whole almonds
3 tablespoons raw sugar

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking liner.
  2. Melt the butter in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat.  
  3. Add the granulated sugar, the seasoned salt, garlic salt, and cayenne and stir until the spices give off some aroma, 1 to 2 minutes.  Add the nuts and toss until well coated. 
  4. Transfer the nuts to the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. 
  5. Remove from the oven and transfer the nuts in a bowl.  Sprinkle the raw sugar over the nuts and toss until coated.
  6. Do-Ahead: At this point, you can let cool, transfer to zipper-top plastic bags, and freeze for up to 6 months.
Cook’s Note: If you would like to make nuts to toss into salads, chop them before cooking them in the butter and seasonings. 
Another Note:  It’s important to use dried spices with the nuts because they become fragrant in the butter and will adhere to the nuts.  Fresh herbs and spices are terrific in other recipes, but not here.

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