Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Spicy Cocktail Nuts

Something about the Christmas holidays and the cold weather makes me crave pecans, cashews, hazelnuts, walnuts, all kinds of nuts. I'm not the only one evidently, since nuts are in great abundance in the produce section of the grocery store.

I remember as a child during the holiday season, we had a wooden bowl in the kitchen with an assortment of nuts. These were the kind that needed to be shelled. We always went after the pecans and the walnuts. As I'm writing this, I'm wondering if my own children know how to shell a pecan or a walnut. Probably not, I bet if I gave them a bottle opener and a Coca-Cola bottle with a metal cap, they would not know how to open it and think I was totally nuts!

This is an easy recipe to make and I guarantee once you put these out for your family and friends to eat, they will not be able to stop themselves. The combination of the sugar and the spice is one of my favorite flavor combinations. This recipe is from Emeril Lagasse's book, "New Orleans Cooking".

Spicy Cocktail Nuts -

1 large egg white
1 teaspoon water
1 lb. assorted shelled nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds, peanuts)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons Essence, recipe follows
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together egg white and water until frothy. Add the nuts and toss to coat. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, Essence, cayenne, and salt. Add to the nuts and stir to coat evenly. Spread the nuts on the prepared pan and bake until dry, about 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir to separate. Let cool on the baking sheet. Serve warm or at room temperature.


1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container. Yield: about 2/3 cup


Aggie said...

I love spiced nuts!! We always had a big wooden bowl full of unshelled nuts too! Wow, you just totally brought me back! I haven't seen a real nutcracker in a while...

TavoLini said...

Those look great!

I remember a big bowl of nuts on my grandparent's table--we (all the grandkids) would shell like crazy!

Natashya said...

Love the spiced nuts! I really should check out this book...

Darius T. Williams said...

These look sooooo freaking good. I need a handful (or two) of these right now.

gigi said...

I love nuts like this. I have a frends recipe that sounds close to this one. She always gives me some for Christmas. Yum!

Marjie said...

I always have nuts in the kitchen. Oh, wait, I'm the head nut (or so say the offspring). Your spiced nut recipe looks great!

Peter M said...

Katherine, your nut mix looks awesome! I too roasted some nuts last night and they are dangerous to have around (eat too much).

Debbie said...

Those nuts sound great! We also had nuts when I was a child around the holidays. The kind in shells like you mentioned. Half the fun was shelling them!!!

Ralonda said...

Ohhhh I so wish I had some extra time right now to make those nuts... catching up on e-mails, messages and blogs is hard enough these days w/ a 3-week old.
I remember my grandaddy had a big wooden bowl too... the almonds were my favorite!
And I bet you're right... If I handed my older kiddos a bottle of Coke with a bottle opener they would look at me like I was crazy.

Maria said...

I wish I could have a couple handfuls of these! The perfect snack!

Bridgett said...

Oh wow, I loved spiced nuts and with the holidays I can make them in abundance and no one looks at me funny! So addictive, aren't they?

Reeni said...

What delicious nuts! My Mom always buys nuts in the shell for holidays. We like to sit around and crack nuts and fight over who get the nutcracker next. All in good fun, of course!

Andrea said...

I have added these to my menu for a party I am having this weekend! They look delicious!!! Thanks for sharing! :)

Paula said...

Oh my gosh! I feel the exact same way about nuts and the holidays! I also know just what you mean about kids and nutcrackers and bottle openers! Your spiced nuts sound great. I bet I'd have a hard time stopping eating!

Hudson said...

I am making them for my 80 year old father this Christmas as he loves spicy foods and nuts so what a fabulous combo. He will love them thanks to you....I'm always looking for creative things to get him and make him because by 80 you have everything. Mary Jo and Hudson

Sharon said...

I'm not a huge Emeril fan, but I can't deny that he has tasty recipes that almost always turn out well!