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Hot Spicy Nuts

April 13, 2011

Eater beware. These nuts are particularly addictive. So addictive that I can only make them when I know there is an event or holiday coming up, because I need to share them with others as soon as possible after they’re prepped. These hot, spicy nuts are yummy and sure to please — a wonderful outcome to a simple preparation.

You will need:

  • 3/4 c plus 2 T sugar
  • 2 T  butter
  • 2 c raw walnut halves
  • 1 t kosher salt
  • 1/2 t ground cumin
  • 1 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 t cayenne pepper

Then you…

  1. Preheat the oven to 350º. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Place 3/4 cup of the sugar in a medium, heavy-bottomed skillet. Cook over high heat, stirring, until it turns a light caramel color, 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add the butter and stir until it’s melted and the foam subsides. Add the nuts and stir to coat evenly with the mixture.
  4. Transfer the nuts to one of the prepared sheet and arrange in a single layer. Place in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes, tossing every 5 minutes, until the nuts are toasted.
  5. Meanwhile, combine the remaining 2 T of sugar, salt, cumin, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.
  6. Remove from the oven and pour the hot nuts into a medium-size bowl. Add the seasoning mixture and toss the nuts very quickly again and again to coat them evenly. Immediately transfer the nuts to the other baking sheet lined with parchment paper and separate the individual nuts with a fork.
  7. Caution! The nuts will be extremely hot due to the sugar. Allow to cool completely before serving.

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