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Sunday, October 11, 2009
Happy Thanksgiving Canada.
Sorry for not posting last week.... I had intended to post, but the recipe I had in mind didn't fare well under my camera. The photos weren't appetizing enough so the recipe sits on my computer until a drool-worthy photo can be captured.
For this week, I was trying to come up with a quick snack for NFL football this afternoon. I thought I might make something with pumpkin since it is Thanksgiving but, then I saw an unopened container of walnuts and thought, "Who doesn't like candied nuts?"
If you aren't familar with making your own candied nuts, you are in for a treat. They take no more than 15 minutes of active time and can easily be made ahead so they are the perfect make-ahead dish to buy you a little time when your guests arrive and you are still prepping dinner.
Personally, I like a mixture of toasty almonds and buttery walnuts but you probably have your favourites, too. This recipe creates a sweet and warm flavour that's perfect for the fall. The secret ingredient here is the inclusion of smoked paprika. While I have seen other candied nuts recipes that include cayenne (which is great but lends some heat), I prefer smoked paprika because of its mysterious dark but subtle flavour without the added heat.
While these nuts are highly suitable for football snacking, I like also like them topped over a spinach salad with dried cranberries, crushed and sprinkled on top of steamed broccoli or as a part of a cheese board with gorgonzola and dried apricots.
4 c walntus, almonds, hazelnuts, etc
2 c granulated sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp dried ginger powder
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp allspice
1. Toast nuts for approximately ten minutes in a 350 degree oven until golden & fragrant.
2. Melt sugar, spices & salt in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat.
3. Working quickly, carefully add toasted nuts to sugar mixture and stir to coat.
4. On parchment paper or a Silpat, pour mixture onto a large cookie sheet.
5. Spread nuts out quickly to break up any large lumps and allow to cool completely.
6. Once cool, break apart nuts and store in a dry container.