Ask Chef Nicole: Sweet & Spicy Nuts

Nicole Straight

Nothing says "cocktail party" like Sweet & Spicy Nuts. Salty and satisfying for both the sweet tooth and those seeking a little heat, this appetizer is a must have in any entertaining repertoire. Cinnamon and smoky paprika give this dish great flavor. 

NOTE: Make sure nuts have cooled completely before even thinking about putting them in the fridge, or you'll have some seriously soggy nuts. In fact, avoid the fridge if at all possible. Also, watch nuts closely in oven as cook times vary. We nearly torched our test batch. 

Sweet and Spicy Nuts

1/3 C. brown sugar

2/3 C. white granulated sugar

2 tsp. kosher salt 

1 Tsp. garlic salt

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Pinch of smoky sweet papricka

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

6 oz. salted butter

1 pound mixed nuts

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix sugars, salt, cayenne, and cinnamon, making sure there are no lumps; set aside.  Melt butter in a nonstick pan, add nuts and stir to coat.  Cook on medium heat for 4-5 minutes. Sprinkle nuts with sugar mixture, and toss until evenly coated. 

Spread sugared nuts in a single layer on a Silpat lined cookie sheet. Bake for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven and let cool.  When nuts are cool, break up into small pieces.

[Photograph c/o]