Even if you aren’t asked to bring a little something I was always brought up to take a little or large ‘gift’ along when visiting. It might be bounty from the garden, or something delicious you have baked. But whatever it is, as the recipient it is always hugely appreciated – and not always for the item itself, but for the thoughts and time that went into the gift. The biggest problem is often trying to think of what to take. You don’t want to take something that might not suit the occasion, or match the food that your host has prepared. This is where the magic of Sugary Spicy Candied Nuts comes into play. They are just perfect, maybe too perfect. Because the temptation to keep eating them might just spoil the appetites of all those guests! “Just one more” turns into “Just one Handful More”…….
We are blessed with the bounty from an old walnut tree. Don’t be surprised to see other walnut recipes turning up here. Over the years we have found many ways to enjoy these nuts. We love them, and so does our dog, Belle. Belle is a fiend at checking out the nuts that have fallen to the ground, knowing exactly which ones are edible and which aren’t. If only she would pick them up gently and put them into a container, instead of cracking the shells and eating them herself! I have roasted walnuts a number of ways, mostly spicy, and mostly always tasty. But to my mind these are the very best. Totally more-ish, totally bad, totally totally good!
I found the recipe on smittenkitchen.com for sugar-and-spice candied nuts. I have tweaked it a little, but thanks to smitten kitchen, which is a great blog. What are your favourite food blogs?
SUGARY SPICY CANDIED NUTS
I took this recipe from Smitten Kitchen, who in turn notes it is adapted from Elizabeth Karnel of Hill Country.
The recipe below is my version, have made a few tweaks.
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4to1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste) I have also used chilli flakes as well as sweet chilli sauce, i.e. whatever you have and like
1 heaped teaspoon ground cinnamon My heaped teaspoon is very generous
1 pound Walnut halves (or other nuts). First shell your walnuts if like us you have garden fresh walnuts, lucky lucky
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water
Preheat oven to around 165 celsius. Mix sugars, salt, cayenne and cinnamon, making sure there are no lumps; set aside. Beat egg white and water until frothy but not stiff. Add walnuts, and stir to coat evenly. Sprinkle nuts with sugar mixture, and toss until evenly coated. Alternatively put them all together and mix – quicker and less bowls to wash! Spread sugared nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with baking paper (I use the roasting pan). Bake for around 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven and separate nuts as they cool. Try not to eat too many. When completely cool, pour the nuts into a bowl, breaking up any that stick together.
Have a competition as to who can guess how long they will last.
So, invite us around, you just might get a bowl of nuts!