Sunday 9 March 2014

Spicy Nut Candy (Hot Smoked Paprika Candied Nuts)

Spicy Nut Candy!!  Or you can call them spiced candied nuts if you prefer, but these are like adult candy for sure - hard to stop eating.  I made some awhile back as a gift for someone hosting a party, but had to set some aside for myself, of course!

The spice combo of hot smoked paprika and cinnamon came from a Smitten Kitchen recipe (sugar-and-spice candied nuts), although when I made subsequent batches, I added in the cayenne as it wasn't spicy enough for me.  And I use a different technique (and butter instead of egg white).  I prefer the stove-top method that I follow here simply as I am more actively involved and less likely to burn the nuts than if they were cooked in the oven.

1 1/2 lb mixed unsalted nuts*
1/3 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp hot smoked paprika
1 tsp cayenne
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp water

* I always use Ann's House Unsalted Mixed Nuts from Costco - 50% cashews plus hazelnuts, almond, brazil nuts and pecans (no peanuts!).

Line a baking pan with a silicone baking mat, tinfoil or parchment paper.

Heat the nuts in a dry pan and cook, stirring often, until they begin to toast.  This should be about 5-6 minutes but keep an eye (and nose) on them to make sure they aren't burning.  Add the butter and cook about 2-3 minutes until the nuts are evenly coated and the butter is just beginning to brown.  Add the remaining ingredients and cook, stirring continually, until nuts are all coated with the glaze, about 7-8 minutes.

 Pour the nuts onto the prepared baking tray and spread them out, separating as much as possible.  Allow to cool and sugar to harden.  This should take about 15 minutes or so.

Keep in airtight mason jars and refrigerate (assuming they aren't all gobbled up the first day!).

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