Sweet and Spicy Roasted Nuts

Sweet and spicy roasted nuts. The same says it all. Mixed nuts are tossed with sugar, salt, cumin, red pepper flake and roasted to perfection. How do you say, “Happy holiday?”

Roasted mixed nuts coated with sugar and spices in green bowl

These sweet and spicy nuts are addictive little snacks, so spread them around with care. The sugar and red-pepper flakes hit just the right balance of sugar and heat, making them a great accompaniment to drinks, especially Champagne. Originally published August 14, 2009.David Leite

Sweet and Spicy Roasted Nuts

  • Quick Glance
  • 5 M
  • 35 M
  • Makes 2 cups
5/5 - 3 reviews
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Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 egg white
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried red-pepper flakes
  • 2 cups mixed raw nuts of your choice

Directions

  • 1. Crank the oven to 300° (150°C). Line a lipped baking sheet with foil and coat the foil lightly with cooking spray.
  • 2. Whisk the egg white until very foamy. Add the sugar, salt, cumin, and red-pepper flakes and whisk well. Stir in the nuts and coat completely.
  • 3. Spread the nuts in single layer on the baking sheet. Bake until they’re a deep golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes, stirring often.
  • 4. Remove the sheet from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool. Break up any nutty clumps. The nuts be made a week in advance. (Ha! Like they’ll ever last that long.) Store in an airtight container.

Recipe Testers Reviews

An undiscovered gem in the oeuvre that is Leite’s Culinaria. I’m amazed this recipe doesn’t have dozens of loyal followers gushing—yet. These nuts are perfect, and perfectly unpredictable at the same time. Not too sweet, not too spicy, and with a little bit of mystery thrown in. A guest asked, “What’s the spice in the nuts?” and I smiled. The surprise is the cumin, adding just the right interest to the sweet of sugar and the spicy of the red pepper flakes.

I’ll agree that they could be a great accompaniment to drinks. I used them as an amuse bouche for brunch and they worked beautifully. A little nibble, better than the ubiquitous bread basket, and easy to alter as necessary to fit the mood of the occasion. The directions are simple and functional. The timing was perfect. I interpreted, “stir often” to be about every 5 minutes or so, and I found I had no clumps to break up after I removed the tray from the oven. David notes these can be made a week in advance and stored in an airtight container. At my house, they would never last that long! Whether made with a wide range of nuts or narrow, even with just one type of nut, these would also be a delicious hostess gift at any time of year.


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