Updated 12/25/2012 05:00 AM
Recipe: Candied Spiced Nuts
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Makes 1 1/2 pounds
- 1 pound walnuts (whole nuts, not pieces if possible)
- 1/2 pound pecans (again, whole, not pieces if possible
- water for blanching
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (or more to taste if you really like spicy)
- 1 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bring a large pot of water to a boil for blanching the nuts. Use your judgment to make sure that the water level is not too high for adding the nuts. You don’t want the water to overflow, but keep in mind that the nuts have to be completely covered as well.
Once the water is boiling, add the 1 1/2 pounds of nuts and, once the water has come back to a boil, let them go for 30 seconds or so and then drain them in a colander in the sink.
After a minute, when they are well drained but still nice and hot, add them to a large mixing bowl and add 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar and 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper and 1 tsp of salt and mix them up until they are well coated and the sugar has dissolved.
Next, spread them out on a large, heavy bottomed baking tray and put that on the center rack of the preheated oven. Stay with these as they are roasting and stir them around once in a while so that they brown evenly.
They’ll need to roast for 20 minutes or so. Then take them out of the oven and let them cool down on the tray, making sure you stir them around once in a while, as they're cooling down, so they don't stick to the tray.
Use just one kind of nut if you like. Just remember that proportionally, you'll need 1 cup of powdered sugar for each pound of nuts. Once cool store in a airtight container at room temperature.