Every year around Christmas I make spiced nuts. LOTS of spiced nuts. Everyone gets a jar — family, friends, co-workers, third cousins three times removed… For about a week in December every flat surface in my apartment is covered with cooling spiced nuts. I make lots of different varieties — some sweet, some fiery hot, some spiked with bourbon, some mixed with candied ginger, some herby, some fruity, and the list goes on… A few stand out as favorites. These vanilla spiced nuts are definitely one of them.
Last night I was thinking, why do I only make spiced nuts during the holidays? They’re so good and so easy there’s no reason not to have them all year round. Cocktail party? dinner with friends? lazy saturday afternoon? These spiced nuts would compliment any and all of these occasions.
Feel free to experiment here — all walnuts, all almonds, throw in a few pecans or hazelnuts… toasty nuts plus sugar and spices rarely fail to please.
On a different note, it’s been a long time since I last updated Modern Beet. Lots of great things have happened since my last post nearly a year and a half ago — Steven and I got married , work is great, and our cat continues to be as cute as ever. Hopefully I’ll be able to find more time to post some of my food adventures here on Modern Beet. Thanks for reading!
Vanilla and Spice Nuts
Adapted from The Frog Commisary Cookbook
1 lb mixed raw walnuts and almonds
1/2 c. sugar
2 1/2 T. vegetable oil
1 T. vanilla extract
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
1/4 t. ground coriander
1/4 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. allspice
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Blanch nuts for 1 minute in boiling water. Drain well. White still hot, put in a bowl and toss with sugar and vegetable oil. Let stand 10 minutes.
Arrange nuts on a baking tray. Bake for about 30 minutes, turning every 5-10 minutes until brown and crispy.
Combine the vanilla, salt, pepper, coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, & allspice. Put the still hot nuts in a bowl and toss with the seasoning mix. Spread in a single layer to cool. Enjoy!