I spent the better part of today in the kitchen. I am tired, my back and my feet hurt, and I feel bit jumpy from the amount of sugar I have consumed (I must test my baking results, right?), but I am happy. Very happy.
I am compiling a basket to be given as a thank-you gift, and one of the recipes I made today was for spiced nuts. I was certain that I had a tried-and-true recipe, in fact I even remember who gave it to me and that it was printed on a piece of paper which had the recipe title in red. But I looked, in my binders and in both computers, to no avail. So, because it was late afternoon and I needed to be done with it all and start dinner, I logged onto the internet and printed out the first one which looked good. An Emeril Lagasse recipe. :) I usually don't head for the recipes of celebrity chefs, but this turned out to be a good choice on my part.
There were a few negative reviews on the Food Network site, but mostly positive ones, so I gave it a try. These turned out very well, and I will definitely make them again closer to the holidays. I used a mix of cashews, almonds, and pecans, and toasted them in the oven instead of in a skillet. The other changes are indicated in the recipe in bold.
This recipe was quick and easy and perfect for a gift basket (and for Jack, who insisted on several "taste-tests").
Emeril's Spiced Nuts
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons water (I used 1-1/2 tablespoons, based on the suggestions of a couple of reviewers)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- scant 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- scant 1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups mixed nuts, such as walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts and almonds
Mix spices and reserve.
Heat nuts in a dry skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until begin to toast, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside. Add the butter, sugar, water and spices to the hot skillet and cook, stirring, until a glaze forms, about 1 minute. Return the nuts to the skillet and toss to combine with the glaze. Cook for about 1 to 2 minutes, or until the nuts are glazed and golden brown.
Remove from the heat and transfer to a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil (parchment), separating with a fork. Let rest until cooled and the sugar has hardened, about 10 minutes. Store in an airtight container.