We decided to be especially crafty this year, so along with homemade cutting boards (I can’t take any credit for those), shea butter soap, chocolate truffles, and another stab at Cheri’s Sea Salted CaramelsÂ (praise be to the candy thermometer, which turns out to be a crucial instrument in the making of candy), these Sugar & Spice Nuts went under the Christmas tree for my nearest and dearest this year.
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 2/3 cup white sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or hot paprika
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 pound nuts of your choiceÂ (I did 1/2 pecans, 1/2 almonds)
- 1 egg white
- 1 tablespoon water
There are a lot of variations of candied nut recipes. You can throw in grated nutmeg, ground ginger, cloves, more salt, less salt, it’s really up to you.Â I think the key is to not get too spice-cupboard-happy, so I’d say stick to 2 or 3 spices to keep it sweet and simple.
Preheat your oven to 300ËšF and fit a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Mix together your sugars, spices and salt,Â working through any lumps.
Set this aside and beat your egg white and water until it’s nice and frothy, but not stiff.Â You can just do this by hand with a whisk because you don’t want to over whip it. Â Pour this overtop of your nuts and mix to coat all your nuts evenly.
Now spread the nuts out on your cookie sheet and bake on the middle oven rack for 30 minutes, pulling them out to stir them a few times to make sure they cook evenly.
When the nuts have cooled, you can start breaking them apart so they don’t stick together in big clumps.
(What? There’s no wrong time to break out into The Sound of Music soundtrack…)
They also look lovely in small mason jars. But no matter how generous you’re feeling, be sure to keep a small batch for yourself.Â