Spiced Nuts with Add ins

If you live in an area where it will be cold on Thanksgiving and you love spicy things….read on.  Thanksgiving is not known for spicy dishes, yet you still crave the spicy experience?  Make these nuts.  Trust me, your fellow heat loving friends and relatives will thank you for it.  You can get your spice on and those who don’t care for spicy can just….well… just not eat them!  More for me right?

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These come together quickly and easily.  You don’t have to have a lot of skills in the kitchen for this one.  Start to finish takes about 30 minutes, not including the cool down time once the nuts are done.  Best yet is these nuts can be stored in an air tight container for 5 days and still taste great.  So you could make them this weekend before the rest of main cooking gets underway.

Vary the nuts to suit your tastes, just remember bigger nuts need a longer roast time. My nuts were all larger so I roasted for almost 10 minutes. And watch them carefully, they can burn and no one wants that.  One of the reasons for a medium temp in the oven is to help prevent that from happening.

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Add ins?  Up to you.  I added wasabi peas, but you could add pretzel sticks or even dried fruit!  Try tasting the finished nuts with what you want to add….do they go together?  You’ll find a mix that makes your mouth happy in no time.

My family enjoys these.  I’ve shared the recipe a few times.  Now I give it to you and yours.

Makes about 4 1/2 cups (with add ins)

You’ll need:

1 cup of raw whole almonds

1 cup of raw walnuts

1 cup of raw pumpkin seeds

For the glaze:

2 Tbs unsalted butter

1(scant) Tbs raw sugar

2 Tbs water

Spice mix:

2 Tbs raw sugar

2 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp chipotle powder

1/4 tsp roasted garlic powder

1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder

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Preheat oven to 350 F.

Line a half sheet baking pan with parchment paper.  Spread in a single layer the walnuts and almonds at opposite ends of the pan leaving a space in the middle for the pumpkin seeds to be added later.  Place in the oven and roast for about 5 minutes.  Rotate pan and add pumpkin seeds to center area-spread them out.  Roast for an additional 5 minutes. Keep a close eye on them. Watch for the coloring of the nuts to change and remove when you notice the first bit of color.  (Oven temps do vary)

While the nuts are roasting:

In a bowl large enough to hold the nuts as well, stir together your spice mix and set aside.

In a sauce pan large enough to hold the nuts, make the glaze.  Combine the ingredients and swirl to allow the sugar to dissolve quickly.  Heat until steaming.

Once the nuts have come out of the oven, you can add them easily to the glaze pan by picking up the parchment paper and pouring them in. (Put the parchment paper back onto the baking sheet.) Turn the heat on low and stir the glaze and nuts together coating them well.  Continue to cook over low heat until almost all the liquid is evaporated.

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Pour the glazed nuts into the bowl with spice mix. (Not the other way around— the hot pan grabs the glaze and you have more glaze on the pan than on the nuts!)  Stir until the nuts are well coated then pour them back onto the parchment paper to let everything cool down.  Mix in your add ins now…or later.  Do you want a little of the glaze on the mix ins?  Do it now.  If not?  Add them when everything is cooled.

Store in an airtight container.  Enjoy with friends and family.  Happy Thanksgiving!

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