Right about now is when I start seriously thinking about food for the holidays. I’m not talking about what everyone will be sitting down to on Christmas Day or New Year’s Eve, but rather everything that gets popped into mouths as a bonus from the beginning of Chanukah to the end of Kwanza.
Our stores are filled with tins and jars of heavenly, handful-sized snacks. Sweet or salty, savory and spicy; every time you turn around, another shelf has been lined with bow-tied packages containing mouth-watering morsels meant to dazzle you.
I am dazzled. Regularly. And much to the dismay of my pocketbook.
What has often followed is the realization that I could have made this treat at home and likely made it just as good or tweaked it even more to my liking. Furthermore, I could have made it as a gift and made the holiday a little more personal if I’d planned.
That’s a big if.
(Mainly, because we all know how much time baking and cooking can take, and how time is usually powered up to “full speed ahead” come the month of December.)
Therefore, I’m serving up a super easy, no-sweat recipe that takes 30 minutes or less to make, and although it may be consumed in a flash, the love you bake into it is eternal.
This mix of sweet, salty and spicy will appeal to those who must have flavor by the bucket load.
1/4 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sweet curry
1 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika
2 teaspoons Chinese Five Spice powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 large egg white
4 cups raw nuts (cashews, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, etc.)
Preheat oven to 300°. Fit a half sheet or cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Mix the sugars, salt, and other spices in a small bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl, beat egg white until frothy.
Add the nuts and stir, making sure you coat evenly.
Sprinkle nuts with sugar mixture and toss.
Spread the nuts on the cookie sheet and bake for 30 – 40 minutes, turning occasionally until browned. Allow the nuts to cool enough to be handled and break up any that stick together.
Serve warm or jar them up, twist on a pretty bow and label With Love.