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Monday, December 6, 2010

Spiced mixed nuts

Spiced mixed nuts, yes. They are pretty sweet. And a bit spicy. And have proven to be more than a little bit addictive. A bowl of these added to the spread of appetizers at your next dinner party sounds like a great idea to me. Invite me over, I will help you put a dent in them!

This was yet another item I made in advance for my thanksgiving festivities out in great state of New Jersey. And I made a lot. Way too much. Even though I broke them out a night early and snacked with my parents, sister (this mix is peanut free, so she didn't die!) and aunt and uncle. 

So, okay, maybe you shouldn't make 10 cups of this mix and bring it out as one of many appetizers if most people are saving space for dinner because it is thanksgiving. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't make 2 or 3 cups before your awesome dinner party, does it? Or, that you shouldn't make a large batch like I did and squirrel some away for a rainy day (Bad pun? Squirel, nuts? ) or package them up in adorable jars and give as Solchamaszaali (Solstice/Channuka/Christmas/Kwanzaa/Diwali - term thanks to my very clever sister, Abbie, who as I mentioned, was NOT killed by this mix of nuts) gifts. But really, how could I resist more than quadrupling the recipe? Cumin, coriander and cayenne (great alliteration, huh?) mixed with the ware sweetness of maple syrup, sugar and salt, baked into a crisp crust on a mixture of almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts and brazil nuts? People are gonna want some of that! 

Case in point, check out this subsequent gchat conversation with my lovely cousin Myra, who may have spent a bit of time hovered over the nuts bowl at thanksgiving:

myra: hi hannah! could you send me the spice nuts recipe? i can't stop thinking about them!me: sure, about to put them to the blog tomorrow, but i can link you to the recipe i adapted in the meantime
 myra: is it easy?
 me: yep!
myra: hollah

Ok, ready? Have you gotten psyched yet?

Cumin Spiced Mixed Nuts
adapted from this spiced walnuts recipe from Martha Stewart (thanks, Martha, you always come through!)

2 cups raw unsalted mixed nuts (I found that both Trader Joes and Whole foods carry similar peanut free mixes that fit the bill- I also added additional pecans to mine, because they're my favorite, especially this time of year)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon course salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 375. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper

Combine the salt, sugar and spices in a small container. mix with a whisk or fork, or if the container can be closed tightly, shake to combine.

In a large glass bowl combine the water, maple syrup, and olive oil. 

Add in the nuts, and stir until they are coated with liquid

Slowly shake the spice mixture over the nuts, and stir until evenly coated.

Spread out nuts in an even layer across the baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, or until your kitchen smells delicious and your roommates come flocking. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely so that no one burns their hands on the hot melted sugary bits.

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