These nuts might be a good compromise if you thought my sprout/salt idea a little TOO healthy but still wanted to give something besides candy or cookies. They would also be a great bring-along for Christmas parties.
A note about nuts. I buy my nuts in bulk, but I ALWAYS taste them before I buy them. Nuts go rancid very quickly and there is nothing worse than making a lovely nut recipe only to find the nuts to be bad. Even packaged nuts can be off (I had a bad batch of packaged pecans the other day), so make sure you taste them before you put all of the time (and money) into cooking them. I speak from experience here. I have been burned before and now I am SUPER careful!
The original recipe for Spicy Nuts came from Emeril Lagasse. Lorraine modified the recipe a bit after reading people’s suggestions and then I changed a few more things. Here is my version of the recipe
Sweet and Spicy Nuts
(Modified from Emeril Lagasse Spiced Nuts)
4 cups unsalted raw nuts (any combination of walnuts, pecans, cashews, almonds, or hazelnuts)
4 T unsalted butter (could substitute coconut oil or Earth Balance)
1 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. cayenne pepper (more if you like things really spicy!)
1 t. ground cinnamon
½ t. salt
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 T water
In large heavy skillet melt butter and add nuts.
Turn out onto aluminum foil lined baking sheet, breaking into clumps as desired. When cool, store in airtight container.
You can use almonds, pecans, walnuts, cashews, or hazelnuts. The walnuts and pecans, because of their nooks and crannies, hold onto the syrup best, but a mixture of nuts is lovely.