Spiced Nuts – Once Upon a Chef

Georgann Dolfay

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Elevate your next cocktail hour with these caramelized spiced nuts. They make a great gift, too!

The balance of salty, sweet, smoky, and spicy flavors makes these spiced nuts hard to resist. The recipe is adapted from restaurateur Danny Meyer’s cocktail and bar fare book, Mix Shake Stir, and it is based on the nut mix served at the bar at Gramercy Tavern, one of Meyer’s most beloved NYC restaurants. I’ve made a few changes to the original recipe to make it more accessible to home cooks, using ingredients that are easy to find or in your pantry already. The result is a delicious and easy-to-make snack that’s perfect for serving with cocktails or gifting during the holidays.

What You’ll Need To Make Spiced Nuts

ingredients for spiced nuts

Step-by-Step Instructions

Preheat the oven to 275°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, salt, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, ginger, nutmeg, water, and corn syrup. spiced nuts seasoning and sugars in bowl

Mix until evenly combined.

spiced nuts coating mixed in bowl

Add the nuts and toss with spice mixture until evenly coated.

nuts tossed in coating

Transfer the nuts to the prepared baking sheet and arrange in a single layer, making sure the syrupy spice mixture is evenly distributed.

spiced nuts arranged in single layer on baking sheet

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, stirring once halfway through, until the nuts are caramelized and lightly toasted. (To check for doneness, take a few nuts out of the oven and set them on a cool surface for a few minutes; if done, they will be dry to the touch.)

spiced nuts after cooking

Carefully slide or lift the parchment and nuts off of the hot baking sheet and onto a countertop; let cool completely. spiced nuts cooling on counter

Break up the nuts with your hands. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to one week.

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Spiced Nuts

Elevate your next cocktail hour with these caramelized spiced nuts. They make a great gift, too!

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 1 scant teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 3½ cups unsalted nuts (I use equal parts cashews and pecans, but you can use any combination of cashews, pecans, and almonds)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 275°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the sugar, salt, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, ginger, nutmeg, water, and corn syrup. Add the nuts and toss with spice mixture until evenly coated. Transfer the nuts to the prepared baking sheet and arrange in a single layer, making sure the syrupy spice mixture is evenly distributed. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, stirring once halfway through, until the nuts are caramelized and lightly toasted. (To check for doneness, take a few nuts out of the oven and set them on a cool surface for a few minutes; if done, they will be dry to the touch.) Carefully slide or lift the parchment and nuts off of the hot baking sheet and onto a countertop; let cool completely. Break up the nuts with your hands. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to one week.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you’re following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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