Wednesday, December 21

Sweet & Spicy Nuts

I have to admit it’s hard finding time on the weekends to experiment with new recipes when Christmas is right around the corner.   As of this past weekend, I am proud to say that I finally finished ALL of my shopping.  This left me time to make one of my favorite recipes that can also double as Christmas gifts!  I’m sure, just like my husband and I, you’ve received traditional gifts of cookies or peppermint bark.  I love these (and please keep them coming our way!), but why not make something different for the holidays?  The recipe below is for sweet and spicy nuts.  Have you ever been to an event and you smell the wonderful aroma of cinnamon and sugar in the air?  There’s a vendor selling warm cinnamon and sugar nuts, but where?!  The smell is deliciously intoxicating and it’s a mad dash to find where their booth is located.  These nuts remind me of those because I find them absolutely addicting.  They have a sweet flavor but also a little bit of spice too.  The perfect combination.

Although this recipe is easy and comes together quickly, there’s a few tips I’d like to share that will help you along the way.  First, you may find it difficult to find chipotle powder.  Don’t give up, it’s out there.  At my local grocery store (Meijer’s) I could not find this spice near the usual McCormick or Meijer brand spices.  That’s when I noticed they carried some higher end spices, or perhaps just more of a variety, in a separate section right near the others.  This is where I ended up finding it.  

I find Costco has some of the best deals on nuts

My second tip:  Make sure that your baking pans are lined with parchment paper.  The original recipe places the nuts right in the pan.  I did this but after scrubbing my pans and contemplating on whether or not to throw them out, I now safely line them with parchment paper.  DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP.   You will save yourself hours (okay maybe not that long but it sure felt like it) of scrubbing.

Ready to bake in the oven

My third tip:  Instead of buying fancy containers at the store for packaging the nuts, be more eco-friendly and reuse containers that you already have.  Many times I find myself cleaning out glass salsa or jelly jars and saving them instead of adding them to our recycling bin.  They’re the perfect size for individual gifts, and personally, I think they’re so much more unique than a store bought container.  For instance look at this Michigan Honey jar!  To dress up the containers even more simply tie a bow or ribbon around them.

What’s great about this recipe is that it makes a good amount (6 cups).  Beyond individual gifts these also make great party snacks. Whatever way you like to eat them I hope you enjoy!

Sweet & Spicy Nuts
Adapted from Recipe #249723 by Feej,
Serving: 6 cups
Prep Time: 15 mins.
Total Time: 35 mins.
  • 2 teaspoons dried chipotle powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 egg white
  • 6 cups nuts (such as: almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, walnuts, cashews, or peanuts)


  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  2. Line 2 medium sized baking pans with parchment paper.  Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl combine: sugar, chipotle powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper.  Stir and combine well.
  4. In a large bowl beat egg white with an electric mixer for approximately 1 minute.  Slowly add honey while continuing to blend with the mixer; combine well.
  5. Add all of the nuts into the egg white - honey mixture.  Using a spatula, mix by hand, until all of the nuts are evenly coated with the mixture. 
  6. Pour sugar and spice mixture over the nuts.  Mix until well combined. 
  7. Divide nuts between the 2 pans, spreading into a single layer.  Bake for 20 minutes, stirring every 7 minutes.
  8. Remove from pan & allow to cool.  Once cooled, nuts will be stuck together.  Break apart by hand into individual pieces.

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