Peg’s Spiced Nuts

Do you have a recipe or two that you make for the holidays, every single year?  A recipe that you simply cannot live without?  Well, Peg’s Spiced Nuts is that recipe for me.  And it fits in beautifully with my “Sweet (and easy!) Christmas Gifts From One Day in the Kitchen”series going on right now!

Peg, a delightful woman I used to work with, introduced these crazy good nuts to me about a dozen years ago.  This treat – sweet and savory, with just a hint of heat – is her signature gift come Christmas each year.  And it’s becoming a trademark now for me, too.

To make these absolutely spectacular, you really don’t want to skimp on the nuts.  Large whole nuts are beautiful and impressive, and so much fun to indulge in.  If there’s any time of year to put out some lunker sized nuts, Christmas is it!

These spiced nuts couldn’t be much easier to make.  And they are perfect for mixing up ahead of time, as they keep really well in a sealed container for a week or two.  They are a simple, yet special, before dinner nibble and make an unforgettable hostess gift.

They also take center stage on a goodie platter.  I like to include a small bowl of these in the center of my platter, and then surround the nuts with a variety of Christmas sweets, offering a nutty savory contrast to all the other sugared up yum.  This combination makes for a very fun and tasty nosh!

(If you like the gift tag in the picture above, it’s available as a FREE printable.  Also check out my guest post at Simple Organized Living for more ideas on how to use these tags!)

Peg’s Spiced Nuts

Ingredients:


  • 2-1/2 c. large whole nuts – my favorite combo is pecans, cashews, and almonds

  • 2 T. vegetable oil

  • 1-1/2 tsp. cumin

  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

  • 2 T. sugar

  • 1 tsp. salt


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°.


Place nuts in a medium heatproof bowl.  Pour the oil into a small heavy saucepan and place over medium low heat until warm.  Do not let it get too hot – the oil will burn.  That means you have to start over.  :-(  Add the cumin and cayenne pepper and stir until the mixture is aromatic, only about 15 seconds.  Pour the flavored oil over the nuts.  Add sugar and salt.  Stir to coat evenly.  Transfer to a baking pan.  Bake, stirring occasionally until nuts are toasted, about 15 to 20 minutes.  Store in an airtight container up to two weeks.  Recipe is easily doubled.


Peg Quinn’s recipe box


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Ann’s Oven-Baked Caramel Corn

Hot Fudge Sauce

Chocolate & Candy Cane Dipped Marshmallows