Recipes

Spicy and sweet nuts: Holiday snack time

In our house, the holidays are synonymous with plenty of visiting. This year I wanted to move away from packaged snacks and make some homemade treats to put out. And nuts, especially roasted, salted, and spiced, are always crowd pleasers.

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I have developed a new appreciation for parchment paper. And all because of Chatelaine’s Spicy and sweet nuts, from the 100+ best holiday recipes book.

In our house, the holidays are synonymous with plenty of visiting. Which means keeping things on hand to feed said visitors: crackers and cheeses, veggies and dip, baked goods, chocolates, and salty snacks – really anything that goes well with a cup of coffee, or glass of eggnog or other holiday cheer. This year I wanted to move away from packaged snacks and make some homemade treats to put out. And nuts, especially roasted, salted, and spiced, are always crowd pleasers.

So back to the parchment paper. If you’ve never used it, go buy some immediately. It will change your (cooking) life. For this recipe, it meant all the crusty stuff that would have baked on my pan (soak, soak, and soak some more) stayed on the parchment paper instead. I chose unsalted mixed nuts (brazil, pecan, hazelnut, almond, cashew), and planned to freeze the batch for those impromptu drop-ins (they’ll keep in the freezer for up to a month). Mini sous chef and I mixed the nuts with the spices and other ingredients, spread them on the parchment paper, popped them in the oven, and then tried to resist sampling until they cooled.

I’ve found they’re the perfect mid-afternoon snack and as such, have polished off the first batch already – by myself. So none made it to the freezer, or into a guest’s hands. Luckily, the ingredients are things I always have on hand (sugar, egg white, salt, cinnamon, chili powder), and the nuts only take 25 minutes to make. I think next time I’ll add more chili powder to give them a little more kick, and triple the recipe so I can gift some to the neighbours.

Try this recipe: Spicy and sweet nuts

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