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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fast and Easy Appetizer: Spiced Nuts

Most people have a favorite quick-and-dirty recipe they pull out when they need to make a fast cocktail snack or party appetizer. For us, it's spiced nuts. We found this recipe years go in Martha Stewart Living, adapted it a bit, and have been relying on it ever since. As Costco shoppers, we always have big bags of nuts on hand, so this is very easy for us to pull together.

Any kind of nut works in this recipe, but we've found that nuts with lots of nooks and crannies, like walnuts and pecans, deliver the best results, as they can hold a lot of spices.

Spiced Nuts

1 large egg white
1/4 c. sugar
1 t. chili powder
1 t. salt
1/2 t. cumin
1/2 t. cayenne pepper*
1/4 t. allspice
2 1/2 c. mixed nuts (though they don't have to be mixed; if all you have are almonds, those will work fine)

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

2. Place the egg white in a medium-size bowl and rapidly whisk by hand until it is foamy.

3. Stir in the sugar, chili powder, salt, cumin, cayenne, and allspice.

4. Fold in the nuts, taking care to cover each nut with the spice mixture.

5. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the pan and stir up the nuts with a spatula, then return the pan to the oven, reducing the temperature to 250 degrees. Bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until the nuts are lightly brown and no longer wet.

6. Remove the nuts from the oven, stir, and let cool. They will keep for a couple of weeks in a covered container. They also freeze well.

* The amount of cayenne pepper is really a matter of taste. This amount works well for an average group of people with average heat preferences. Heat lovers will want more spice, though, so feel free to add more—Martha's recipe calls for 1 3/4 teaspoons!

1 comment:

  1. I would have never though to use egg whites! How brilliant!