Cinnamon Sugar Candied Cashews

You’ll never need to buy those extremely over-priced fancy candied cashews again.

The kind that are so good you can’t stop eating them. Like $20 dollars worth in 20 minutes.

Never again. You can make your own. This is best and easiest recipe for homemade candied nuts I’ve tried.

The recipe is adapted from my Sweet with Heat Cinnamon Sugar Candied Nuts and I made it even easier.

Everything is mixed in one bowl and they’re ready in 30 minutes. Can’t beat it.

They’re salty-and-sweet with just the right amount of cinnamon to add great depth of flavor. Add a pinch of cayenne for extra shazaam.

Although almonds seem to be a cult favorite, I’ve never been as big of an almond fan as either cashews or peanuts. I could eat honey-roasted peanuts all day long and the same goes for these cashews.

Cashews are softer and more buttery than almonds, which I prefer. I use them in vegan desserts as a butter replacer.

The cashews have the perfect amount of satisfying crunch, thanks to the cinnamon sugar coating. It’s crunchy and really bakes in rather than just falling off, which is all too common with homemade candied nuts.

The secret? An egg white. It serves to coat the nuts before they’re tossed with cinnamon and sugar so it adheres. And while baking, the egg white binds and solidifies the coating onto the nuts.

I used whole roasted, lightly salted cashews from Trader Joe’s. Their nuts are the best value for me. I don’t have room to store Costco-sized quantities of things. I prefer using already roasted rather than raw nuts because they have more flavor.

The recipe works with almonds, pecans, walnuts, macadamia nuts, and peanuts, although you may need to adjust the baking time slightly.

Between the salty-and-sweet factor along with the crunch factor, I went to town on the cashews immediately as they came out of the oven. The scent in your house while they bake is just heavenly.

They firm up and get crunchier as they cool so waiting an hour, or even overnight, is best. But I couldn’t.

They make excellent easy, inexpensive, and impromptu gifts, but because they’re so addictively good you may not have any left over to give.

Cinnamon Sugar Candied Cashews (gluten-free)

This is the best and easiest recipe for candied nuts you’ll find. Everything is mixed in one bowl and from start to finish, you’re done in 30 minutes. They’re salty-and-sweet with just the right amount of cinnamon to add great depth of flavor. Add cayenne for an extra kick. The cinnamon-sugar coating is crunchy and really bakes into the nuts, thanks to an egg white which helps the coating adhere, bind, and solidify. The recipe works with almonds, pecans, walnuts, macadamia nuts, and peanuts, although you may need to adjust and baking time slightly. I used lightly salted, previously roasted cashews. They firm up dramatically as they cool, so don’t be tempted to over-bake them. They make excellent easy, inexpensive, and impromptu gifts, but because they’re so addictively good you may not have any left over to give.

Did you make this recipe?

Ingredients:

1 egg white, whisked to very frothy
1 tablespoon water
3 cups cashews (I used 1 pound bag of roasted, lightly salted; substitute with almonds, pecans, walnuts, peanuts or a combo)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 to 2 teaspoons cinnamon, or to taste (I used 2 heaping teaspoons)
1 teaspoon Kosher salt, or to taste (salt will vary based on preference and if you’re using salted or unsalted cashews)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional and to taste (reduce to 1/4 teaspoon for milder heat)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300F. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper. Don’t skip lining your baking sheet; set aside.
  2. To a large bowl, add the egg white, water and whisk vigorously until very frothy, foamy, and bubbly, about 2 minutes by hand.
  3. Add the nuts and stir to coat.
  4. Add the sugars, cinnamon, salt, and optional cayenne, and stir to coat evenly.
  5. Turn nuts out onto to prepared baking sheet, spreading them in an even flat layer.
  6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes (I baked 28 minutes); don’t overbake or nuts can burn. Coating will appear bubbly, quite soupy and wet in the center of tray even when nuts are ready to be pulled from oven. It will seem like nuts should bake longer so the coating dries out more, but it firms up dramatically as nuts cool. As always, use your judgment and let your nose and eyes be your guide to doneness.
  7. Allow nuts to cool on baking tray for at least 30 minutes. Ideally, leave nuts on baking tray and exposed to air to cool overnight; this helps them get extra crispy and crunchy.
  8.  When nuts are cool enough to handle break apart large clusters.
  9. Transfer nuts to airtight containers or jars. Nuts will keep airtight at room temperature for at least 1 month.
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