Thanksgiving Day Prep: Candied Spiced Nuts

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
Wooden spoon

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.

Thanksgiving Prep Started: Pie Dough

Pie Dough

Baking scares many people and maybe little is as scary as pie dough. I have made more than a few horrors of pie dough and know well why so many dare not tread here.

I will make it easy. I offer a tried and true recipe and procedure, but you may adapt it as you wish. This recipe make enough with some to spare for a 9 inch pie pan.

245 g all purpose flour
17 grams granulated sugar
7 grams salt

228 grams cold butter, cut into ½ inch pieces

2 egg yolks
51 grams of milk, mixed together

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the dry ingredients and butter. Paddle for about 1 minute. You want the butter to start to mix into the flour. Add the egg yolk/milk mixture and paddle on low for 10 seconds or so. The goal is to incorporate the milk, but just barely. The real mixing, and the development of the dough, comes next.


Scoop out the dough onto a counter top. Bunch the crumbly looking dough into a pile and start at the top of the pile, push down and away into the dough. Repeat this process. In between pushes, gather the dough back into a pile. As you work, the dough will start to come together and be the dough you are looking for. When it is combined, stop.

If you are making pies and know the diameter, measure 1 ounce of dough for every inch wide the pan. 10 inch pie pans get 10 oz of dough. Scale those portions, round them on the counter and wrap in plastic wrap. Store in the cooler for at least 4 hours, but overnight if possible.

Congratulations! You’ve just made pie dough.



Here are videos I made showing the production of pie dough.  Bear with me as my video loading knowledge is growing, but technology bests me often.1 of 4 2 of 4 3 of 4 4 of 4