My dad used to make this recipe with almonds and send them, along with a variety of other confection goodies, to us kids for Christmas. He liked cayenne in his and I’m not overwhelmed with heat spice in caramel. So, I omitted it. If that’s your jam, add it back. This recipe allows for a wide variety of variance as long as you keep the sugar:water:nut ratio the same, go nuts (sorry, had to) on the spice. Insert Dune reference here, nerds.
Candied Spiced Nuts
This recipe originally used almonds. I used pecans. Walnuts or peanuts or filberts would also be quite nice.
This recipe easily increases.
12 oz raw nuts
6 oz granulated white sugar
4 oz water
1 t cinnamon
1/8 t ground cloves
1/8 t ground allspice
1/8 t cayenne pepper (optional)
1 t coarse salt
Cookie sheet lined with baking paper
Shallow sauce pan
Combine water and sugar in sauce pan and bring to a boil. Allow to slightly brown, then add nuts. Stir frequently and cook until the water nearly evaporates. Add the spices and salt. Mix until water is nearly evaporated, turn out onto prepared sheet pan and bake at 300 degrees F for 15 minutes. Turn nuts with spatula to flip bottom to top and bake, if needed, 10 minutes longer.
How do you know if that extra time is needed? If the caramel is still sticky and stretchy, they need more time. This is delicious but not what we want here.
While the nuts are still warm, lightly salt them with fine salt, for example, popcorn salt, or granulated salt. Let cool and enjoy. Watch out! Too hot and your burn the tuna salad out of your mouth.