I made this simple recipe en mass last week as gifts for my husband’s co-workers. We adore them so I wanted something they’d love without killing myself to get it done. I got requests for more nuts the same day, so I made another big batch and sent it off with Joe the next morning.
Though this would have been a great mid-December post for you to give as gifts, I think you can whip this up in time for your New Year’s Parties and have a delicious treat for your guests to snack on. It would also make the perfect hostess gift any time of year.
The base recipe for this comes from Elana’s Pantry. I’ve added my own spices and some of my own tricks to get the nuts just the way I want them.
Almonds don’t have the ridges and crevices that walnuts and pecans do, so my recipe has two separate instructions for the them. I found that almonds take 3 – 5 minutes longer to get nice and crunchy.
If you have granite counter tops, let the nuts cool on heavy duty aluminum foil there. The stone will pull the heat from the nuts quickly. They do stick together a little when you pack them in a jar. It’s just the nature of the ingredients.
A note about the oil: You want it to be tasteless and fresh. It is a major player in the overall flavor and if you’re oil is rancid, your nuts will taste rancid. I haven’t tried coconut oil but I bet it would make a fabulous tropical flavored nut.
An equally yummy variation is to use 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder instead of the cinnamon and cayenne. If you still have squash seeds lying around like me, you can roast those, too.