So...my original plan was to post a fabulous Lemon Shrimp Pasta that I was making for dinner but after a couple of technical mistakes and some deliberate disregard for the directions, it didn't turn out very good (surprise!). Instead, I will post a success from this morning.
I made some sweet-spicy nuts from a recipe I found on one of my favorite food blogs: Smitten Kitchen. I brought the nuts to a friend who was meeting me for lunch and I could tell it was a hit when she took the baggie of nuts out after our meal to have with our coffees. I could further tell it was a hit when Boyfriend tipped the small bowl of nuts directly into his mouth. So, this recipe is a winner. Also, as Smitten Kitchen suggests, it'd be so pretty as a hostess gift. Given the cost of nuts in this city, it'd be just a little more expensive than bringing a bottle of wine.
Sugar and Spice Candied Nuts
Inspired from: Smitten Kitchen
1/3 cup dark-brown sugar (I used light and it was still delicious)
2/3 cup white granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (It wasn't hot at all. You can definitely up the pepper. I will likely try it next with 1/4 tsp...if not more)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups whole pecans, unsalted
1 1/2 cups whole almonds, unsalted
1 cup whole cashews, unsalted
1/2 cup whole, unpeeled hazelnuts
1 egg white, room temperature
1 tablespoon water, cold
Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit, 150 degrees Celsius.
Mix sugars, salt, cayenne, and cinnamon, making sure there are no lumps; set aside. Beat egg white and water until frothy but not stiff. Add nuts, and stir to coat evenly. Sprinkle nuts with sugar mixture, and toss until evenly coated. Spread sugared nuts in a single layer on a cookie sheet fitted with parchment paper. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven, and separate nuts as they cool. It's important to break them up while they're cooling. If you try when they're fresh out of the oven, the sugar is still molten and will A. hurt you and B. just stick together again. When it's too cool, it might be a little hard to break up. When completely cool, pour the nuts into a bowl, breaking up any that stick together.