These crunchy, buttery, sweet, spiced nuts have a hint of orange. They are completely irresistible and are sure to be a hit at any party!
Let’s see…it’s only taken me over a year to finally post this recipe! I wanted to wait and take how-to photos. The weeks turned into months and suddenly it was Thanksgiving again. I’m going to make another batch or two for Christmas. They disappear quickly. These nuts would be a great gift to give your neighbors or anyone who loves nuts. (I know there are some of you who don’t.) Our family is nuts about nuts. All kinds–even the ones to whom we’re related. (Don’t worry, they’d agree with us.)
Besides Candied Pecans for snacking and salads, the recipe below is a favorite. Every time I make them I’m transported to the streets of Manhattan where you can buy a bag of the hot, sweet nuts from vendors on every corner.
You can use a combination of spices. The recipe only calls for cinnamon and nutmeg. I have made these nuts with a bit of cardamom or clove added, or with pumpkin pie spice. Whatever you like.
The other KEY (and I mean, KEY) ingredient is orange zest. Well, okay. If you don’t like orange, or would rather leave it out, then go ahead. But don’t blame me if your nuts are a bit inferior. (They will be! The orange is really magical.)
- 2 cups whole blanched almonds
- 1 ½ cups pecan halves
- 1 ½ cups filberts (hazelnuts)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¼ tsp. cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg
- Pinch salt
- 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1 Tbsp. grated orange peel
- ½ cup butter or margarine
- Heat oven to 325 degrees. Spread nuts in jelly roll pan. Bake, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly toasted. (Omit this step if using toasted nuts.)
- In small bowl stir together sugar and spices.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat egg whites at high speed, scraping bowl often, until soft peaks form, about 1 to 2 minutes. Continue beating, gradually adding sugar mixture, until stiff peaks form, another 1 to 2 minutes. By hand, fold in orange zest and nuts.
- In same jelly roll pan, melt butter in oven—about 4 to 6 minutes. Spread nut mixture over butter. Bake, stirring every 5-10 minutes, for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until nuts are brown and no butter remains. Cool completely and transfer to an airtight container.
-Add other spices, if desired, such as clove, allspice, cardamom, cayenne or chili powder.