maple mixed nuts
I’ve been in a slump lately. I’m not sure what’s going on—sometimes it’s just that I don’t have the time to make (and photograph) things, but in the past few weeks I’ve tried a few new recipes and just haven’t felt they were good enough to share. It’s such a bummer because I love sharing things with you! Luckily I finally had some success… This weekend we had a crazy early snowstorm and we scratched our plans and just stayed inside to watch movies, read magazines and generally indulge in doing very little. It was awesome. As I was flipping through the November issue of Food & Wine (it’s full of gems!), I came across a recipe for maple pecans that sounded awesome. Sweet and spicy nuts seemed like the perfect snack for the first snowstorm of the year.
Making a simple nut mix is one of my favorite fall/winter snacks. They require very little effort but almost always turn out great—and they make great last-minute gifts. These are no different—simply toast the nuts, add some spices and the maple syrup, then toss them all with an egg white (which will make them crispy), and pop them in the oven. About 40 minutes later they were smelling great and nice and crisp. After breaking them apart and letting them cool a bit, I brought out a little bowl to snack on while watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s. They’ve got a perfect balance of sweet from the maple syrup and spicy from the cayenne pepper—I love a sweet and spicy combination.
maple mixed nuts
slightly modified from Food & Wine, November 2011
4 cups mixed nuts, such as pecans, walnuts, pistachios (4 cups pecans would work great too)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg white, at room temperature
Preheat the oven to 350°.
Spread the nuts on a large rimmed baking sheet and toast until they are fragrant, about 10 minutes. Let the nuts cool. Lower the oven temperature to 250°.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, toss the nuts with the maple syrup, butter, salt, cayenne and black pepper. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg white until frothy. Add the egg white to the nuts and toss well.
Spread the nuts on the lined baking sheets in a single layer. Bake for 40 minutes, until the nuts are golden brown. Immediately loosen the pecans from the paper with a spatula. Let cool completely on the baking sheets before serving.
The nuts can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.