Sweet with Heat Cinnamon Sugar Candied Nuts
Cinnamon Sugar Candied Nuts — The smell of candied nuts is one of the best parts of holiday shopping! Munch on a these shopping mall-style candied nuts at home, year-round.
Homemade Candied Nuts Recipe
The smell of candied nuts wafting through the shopping malls before Christmas is positively intoxicating. Something so good shouldn’t be confined to just a month or two of the year. These shopping mall-style candied nuts are fast and easy to make and ready in a half hour. The aroma that wafts through your house while they bake is so intoxicating that you’ll wish you could bottle it.
For this mix, I used 1 cup each of pecans, walnuts, and almonds. Pecans are great here because their nooks and crannies trap the coating mixture especially well.
In the coating mixture, I used one tablespoon of cinnamon and one-half teaspoon of cayenne pepper. The nuts aren’t intense firebombs where you’ll need to immediately guzzle water. Rather, it’s a creeper heat. The kind that sneaks up on you.
After a handful, your sinuses will be wide open, but you’ll reach for another handful. Food with heat is addictive. The more you have, the more you want. If you’re not into heat, either reduce or eliminate the cayenne. Still tasty, minus the open sinuses.
The sweet-with-heat, caramelized, crispy, brown sugary coating is so good. The stray bits of it that fall off are even better than the nuts themselves for me. I love finding bonus chunks of it laying loose in the jar. It’s the streusel topping principle. I love to pick at any sort of brown sugary crumbs.
These homemade Christmas nuts make great last-minute gifts and anything homemade in under a half hour is a winner. Don’t wait for Christmas. Bring some to a summer bbq, a pool party, or a neighborhood cookout. You’ll be the hit of the party as people stand around crunching and munching.
We’ve been doing our share of crunching and munching alright.
What’s in Candied Nuts?
To make this mixture of candied pecans, candied walnuts, and candied almonds, you’ll need:
- Egg white
- Granulated sugar
- Brown sugar
- Kosher salt
- Cayenne pepper
How to Make Candied Nuts
Making candied Christmas nuts couldn’t be simpler! Place nuts in a large bowl. Whisk the egg white and water until frothy in another bowl.
Pour the egg white mixture over the nuts, then pour in the remaining ingredients. Toss evenly to coat.
Spread the nuts over a parchment paper-lined baking tray, then bake until the coating is crisped, dried and candied.
How Long Do Candied Nuts Last?
If stored in an airtight container at room temperature, these candied nuts will last up to a month.
What Type of Nuts Should I Use?
You can use any type of nuts you’d like in this candied nuts recipe. Just note that I used raw, unsalted nuts in this recipe.
Can I Omit the Cayenne Pepper?
Yes, but I recommend adding it in. It’s highly addictive!
Can I Add Other Spices?
Yes, you’re welcome to spice these candied nuts however you see fit. Cinnamon is a must in my book, though.
Can I Omit the Egg White?
Not really, no. The egg white acts as the glue in this recipe and prevents the candied coating from sliding off the nuts.
Can I Omit Part of the Sugar?
I don’t think so, no. Without the sugar, you can’t make candied nuts.
Tips for Making Candied Nuts
Don’t skip the kosher salt in this recipe. You need a bit of salt to balance out the sweetness of the candy coating and bring out the flavor of the nuts themselves.
Be sure to stir the candied nuts halfway through the bake time. If you don’t stir them, some of the nuts may burn.
Lastly, you need to let these candied Christmas nuts cool completely before eating them. They crisp up as they cool and develop a crunchy exterior.
- 3 cups nuts (pecans work very well to absorb the coating; I used 1 cup each of pecans, walnuts, and almonds. All were raw and unsalted)
- 1 egg white, whisked to frothy
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed (light or dark is fine)
- 2+ teaspoons cinnamon (I used 1 tablespoon)
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste (reduce to 1/4 teaspoon for milder heat)
- Preheat oven to 300F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
- In a large bowl, add the nuts; set aside. I used 1 cup each of pecans, walnuts, and almonds. All were raw and unsalted.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the egg white and water until frothy, foamy, and bubbly, about 2 minutes by hand. Pour mixture over nuts and toss to coat evenly; set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining 5 ingredients. Dump over the nuts and toss to coat evenly.
- Turn nuts out onto to prepared baking tray, spreading them in an even flat layer.
- Bake for 28 to 30 minutes, or until coasting is crisped, dried and candied. Stir nuts once midway through cooking.
- Lift the parchment paper with the nuts on it off the baking tray, set it on the counter, and allow nuts to cool. When nuts are cool enough to handle, if desired, break apart large clusters.
- Transfer nuts to airtight containers or jars.
- Nuts will keep airtight at room temperature for at least 1 month.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 402Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 411mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 4gSugar: 26gProtein: 11g
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