Saturday, December 12, 2009

Spiced Nuts

i can't seem to get enough of christmas music lately. interestingly enough though i'm not a big fan of the radio stations that play christmas music 24/7. they seem to play the same 20 songs over and over again. plus they play (what i consider) the worst ones.

i do not like:
grandma got run over by a reindeer
christmas shoes (this is probably my least favorite)
dominic the donkey
all i want for christmas is my two front teeth
paul cccartney's wonderful christmastime

ok, so i don't mean to be a grinch but i guess i like the traditional ones. just play the classics and i'm happy. my absolutely favorite is "oh holy night" (i am partial to celine's version).

anyway, i was playing christmas music on the tv (the music channels have a "sounds of the season" channel that is pretty good) while i made my spiced nuts. i got this recipe from an ex-girlfriend of a friend of ours. the girl didn't hang around but this recipe did. i love it! they are seriously really good with just enough spice. if you want it less spicy or you like lots of spice, just adjust the cayenne accordingly. they are great to have around to snack on. nuts are good for you and they only have 2 tbs of butter and brown sugar in the whole batch. they are good to put out when company comes and its even great as a gift.
spice mixture - yum!

Spiced Nuts
(makes approximately 4 cups)

1 cup each of the following:
- raw pecan halves
- raw pistachios
- raw cashew halves
- raw whole almonds
(you can really use any kind of nuts here as long as they are raw since you will be roasting them - use your favorites)

roast nuts together on a cookie sheet at 350 degrees until fragrant - about 10-15 minutes. keep a close eye on them though, they burn easily.

meanwhile in a small bowl, combine the following ingredients:
- 2 tbs brown sugar
- 2 tbs finely minced fresh rosemary
- 1 tbs finely minced fresh thyme
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp cayenne
- 2 tbs butter, melted

when nuts are roasted, place 1/3 of them in a large bowl. scoop 1/3 of spice and butter mixture on top of the nuts and stir really well until all nuts are covered. continue in two more batches until all the nuts and spice mixture are in the bowl. make sure all nuts are well covered.

pour back onto baking sheet and spread out evenly. let the spiced nuts sit and cool. store in airtight container for up to one month.

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