5 Sugary and Savory Snack Recipes: Sweeten or Spice Up Nuts

Is there a smell better in the world than that of candied nuts? You can smell the “nut guy” at the fair a mile away, and after one luxurious whiff, all bets are off. You will be visiting the vendor on your way out of the event, and you will fork over $5 for a snack that costs significantly less to make.

Candied nuts are a treat that many of us enjoy at our favorite seasonal occasions, but just in case you want to save money and/or serve up your own decadent nuts at a party or event at your home, we’ve rounded up some recipes to help make that happen for you. Treated nuts, whether sweet or salty, are surprisingly easy to perfect, and they’ll make your house smell out of this world. Treat your nose and taste buds to one of these 5 homemade nut recipes and bid farewell to your favorite fair vendor. Some of this recipes yield a sweet snack, while others make a savory one. It’s up to you to decide what your nutty taste buds are craving.

Sugared Almonds, nuts, candied

Source: iStock

1. Cinnamon Sugar Candied Nuts

This first recipe is for the tried-and-true candied nuts that everyone has no choice but to love. How can you not when pecans, almonds, sugar, and cinnamon are involved? The nuts are coated with cinnamon sugar goodness thanks to the egg white wash they are soaked in, and then all that’s left to do is bake them for 45 minutes. Instead of indulging in your favorite treat only at the fair or festival, make yours at home on the cheap via this recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction.

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups whole pecans, unsalted
  • 1 cup whole almonds, unsalted
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Directions: Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and spray with non-stick spray or a silicone baking mat. Set aside. Mix pecans and almonds in a large bowl. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites and water on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, about 4-5 minutes. Add the sugar, cinnamon, and salt, stirring until well-combined.

Pour sugar mixture over nuts and stir to coat completely. Spread nuts over the baking sheets and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Allow to cool completely and enjoy. Store nuts at room temperature for a few weeks, covered.

Sugared Nuts, Candied Pecans

Source: iStock

2. Sweet With Heat Cinnamon Sugar Candied Nuts

Here’s another recipe from Averie Cooks that is similar to the aforementioned formula in that the nuts are coated in cinnamon sugar; however, these nuts are in a league of their own because they also come with a spicy kick. Cayenne pepper is to thank for bringing the heat. If you like your snacks sweet, but also spicy, try this recipe and appease all of your senses.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups nuts
  • 1 egg white, whisked to frothy
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar, packed (light or dark is fine)
  • 2 heaping teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste

Directions: Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. In a large bowl, add the nuts; set aside. I used 1 cup each of pecans, walnuts, and almonds. All were raw and unsalted. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg white and water until frothy, about 2 minutes by hand. Pour mixture over nuts and toss to coat evenly; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining 5 ingredients. Pour over the nuts and toss to coat evenly. Turn nuts out onto to prepared baking tray, spreading them in an even flat layer. Bake for 28 to 30 minutes, or until coasting has candied. Stir nuts once midway through cooking. Lift the parchment paper with the nuts on it off the baking tray, set it on the counter, and allow nuts to cool. When nuts are cool enough to handle, if desired, break apart large clusters. Transfer nuts to airtight containers or jars. Nuts will keep airtight at room temperature for at least 1 month.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

3. Basil Pesto Party Almonds

Up next is a sophisticated spin on treated nuts from Cookie and Kate. Pull out your basil and pesto — it’s time to kick your almonds up a notch. They’re called “Party Almonds” for a reason, after all. To perfect this nut recipe, all you need are 7 ingredients: egg whites, basil leaves, salt, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, almonds, and Parmesan cheese. Soak your almonds in the seasonings and then prepare your party guests for pesto almonds.

Ingredients:

  • 2 egg whites
  • ¼ cup packed whole basil leaves
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups whole, unsalted almonds
  • ¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

Directions: Preheat the oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In a blender, combine the egg whites, basil leaves, salt, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes. Process on low speed until mixture is puréed. In a small mixing bowl, toss the basil egg white mixture with the almonds until well-combined. Let the almonds soak up some of the excess moisture for a few minutes. Stir in the Parmesan. Use a large mixing spoon to transfer the almonds to the prepared pan, leaving any excess basil mixture in the bowl.

Spread almonds in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes or longer, stirring every 15 minutes, until the basil mixture is dried and the almonds are sufficiently crunchy. Let the almonds cool completely, then store in an air-tight container.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

4. Rosemary Roasted Cashews

Speaking of sophisticated seasonings, here’s another recipe from Ina Garten that enlists herbs to make nuts especially appealing. In walks Rosemary Roasted Cashews, out walks self-control. Healthy fats get a whole more appetizing when butter, brown sugar, cayenne, and rosemary are involved. This recipe takes all of 5 minutes to prepare and 10 minutes to cook. Consider this a perfect snack to serve at any happy hour or soirée.

Ingredients:

  • 1¼ pounds cashew nuts
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter

Directions: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the nuts on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes until they are warmed through. Meanwhile, combine the rosemary, pepper, sugar, salt, and butter in a large bowl. Toss the warm nuts with the rosemary mixture until the nuts are completely coated. Serve warm.

Walnuts

Source: iStock

5. Sweet & Spicy Nuts

Last but not least: another recipe for Sweet and Spicy Nuts that will appeal to all your taste buds and cravings. Take this formula from Taste of Home and get ready to soak your walnuts and pecans in butter before adding them to a salt and spice mixture. Brown sugar, Worcestershire, and hot sauce are invited to the party last, and from there, all you need to do is cook the nuts for 2 minutes before enjoying.

Ingredients:

  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground chipotle powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup shelled walnuts
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1½ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Dash Louisiana-style hot sauce

Directions: In a small bowl, combine the salt and spices; set aside. In a large heavy skillet, melt butter. Add walnuts and pecans; cook over medium heat until nuts are toasted, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle with spice mixture. Add the brown sugar, water, Worcestershire, and hot sauce. Cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until sugar is melted. Spread on foil to cool. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 2 cups.

More from Life Cheat Sheet: