Philacatessen | Sweet and Spicy Nuts


This recipe is an oldie but a goodie. And although it calls for a fair amount of sugar, it is a treat that doesn’t contain any white flour or dairy, so it feels a little less sinful than other seasonal sweets.

Put a couple of handfuls in a clear bag tied with a ribbon and use it as a gift in lieu of cookies, or put these out in festive dishes as a snack or dessert during a holiday gathering.

I have tried to make these without the egg white, but the spices don’t adhere as well to the nuts, so I have reverted back to this method.

You can use whatever nuts you prefer — a blend is nice, but one variety is also fine.

As for the spices, this blend delivers a complex meld of savory, salt and sweet flavors, but feel free to alter for your preference. Or ditch the entire palate and use curry powder, five spice or Mexican seasonings as you wish.

spiced nuts
KitchenM / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Makes 4 cups

  • 4 cups assorted nuts: cashews, almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, walnuts, etc.
  • 1 egg white
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom

Heat your oven to 300 degrees and line a rimmed baking tray with parchment.

In a large bowl, whisk the egg white until bubbly. Dump in the nuts and stir to coat them.

In a small bowl, mix the sugar, salt and spices. Sprinkle it over the nut mixture, and stir to distribute the spices well.

Pour the nuts onto a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes; stir the nuts and return them to the oven for another 20 minutes, or until the nuts are brown and toasty.

Cool and enjoy.


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