Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sugared Nuts - Pecans, Almonds, Cashews or Walnuts

Sugared nuts are a holiday tradition. Made with pecans, cashews, walnuts or almonds, tossed first in an egg white wash, then dredged in a sugar and spice mix and slow roasted. Add a tiny pinch of cayenne for a little kick.

Sugared Nuts

Sugared and spiced pecans, almonds, cashews and even walnuts, have been a holiday favorite in many a Southerner household for many years. It's a very simple way to dress up plain nuts to serve at a party, to give away as favors, and even to add to a holiday goodie tray or special occasion gift basket. They are even good chopped and crumbled on top of savory dishes and salads.

Usually made by dipping nuts in beaten egg whites and then rolling them in granulated sugar before slow roasting, I have also used the turbinado sugar that I had hanging around in my pantry. Turbinado is easy to find - I use Sugar in the Raw brand, and find it right at my local WalMart. It is simply a less processed form of cane sugar, often referred to as raw sugar. Because it is taken up earlier in the process, it retains more of the molasses flavor, is lightly browned in color, and has much larger crystals. All of that to me, does everything to enhance the flavor of a roasted nut, but of course, regular granulated sugar, brown sugar or even a combination of the two works just fine.

I usually find a teaspoon of kosher salt and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon to work well for me, but suggest that you make a batch and adjust those spices to your own taste. Try a little pumpkin pie spice, a blend of allspice, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg for a nice change. I also like the added punch of some cayenne pepper making these spicy sweet! You can certainly omit the cayenne if you prefer, of course.

Here's how to make them.

Recipe: Sugared Nuts

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 40 min | Yield: 2 cups

  • 2 cups of salted almonds, or whole cashews, walnut or pecan halves
  • 1 cup of granulated or coarse sugar (like turbinado)
  • 2 teaspoons of light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 2 heaping teaspoons of cinnamon
  • Dash of allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, or to taste, optional
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon of cold water

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Butter or spray an aluminum foil covered baking sheet.

Whisk together the sugars, salt, cinnamon, allspice and cayenne, until well combined. Beat the egg white with the cold water until very frothy. Toss the nuts into the egg white and stir until all the nuts have been coated. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the nuts to the sugar mixture, stir well and sprinkle into the baking pan in a single layer.

Roast at 275 degrees for about 30 to 40 minutes or until fragrant, stirring several times. Let rest on tray until fully cooled, stirring several times to separate.

Cook's Notes: Add in 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract. May also substitute half coarse and half granulated sugars, all brown sugar, or half granulated and half brown sugar or use flavored sugars. Substitute pumpkin pie spice for the cinnamon and allspice.


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©Deep South Dish
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Posted by on October 28, 2010

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  1. A made a batch of sugared pecans last Christmas and they were a hit...I may try some different nuts this year to keep things interesting!

  2. These look good, might be something I could give a try..I bet my boys will like them.

  3. You can never go wrong with sweet nuts!

  4. Mary, Mary, quite extraordinary, (you must have a listening device installed at my house). We were just talking about things we would like to have for our "dumb dinner" celebration. That's where we honor our relatives that have passed at a dinner on November 1. All Saints Day, Dia de Los Muertos....yep all those. It is called dumb dinner because the "folks" that you invite will have nothing to say. Anyway, we try to do foods that our loved ones enjoyed....and these sugared nuts were a favorite of a friend who passed this year. She used to fix them for all of us. With your help, I will fix them in memory of her. See how connectionality works.....there ya are again....helping me be the best I can be. Thanks dear one. The Olde Bagg

  5. HOW DID YOU KNOW? Seriously! I was just coming online to see if I could find a good recipe for sugared nuts and my very very favorite cook posted one. I know it was just for ME. Thank you, thank you. This sounds absolutely perfect.

  6. I have a very similar recipe that I just love, I'll have to dig out that recipe, thanks for the reminder!! Hope you had a great trip!!


  7. I had been wanting to try some sugared nuts on salads, so this might be a good one to try.

  8. Oh those look yummy and are definitely on my list of things to make at the holidays now that I live in the south!

  9. I love candied nuts! I make them every year at Christmas time. Your recipe looks delicious!

  10. Wow. This is great, these are always expensive in the store, so glad to know how to do it myself! Thanks.

  11. You've convinced me! I'm making these--can't wait to share some too!

  12. Now this is the second time this morning I have read about Turbinado sugar!! How interesting!

  13. EVERYTHING, AND I MEAN EVERYTHING on your blog looks delicious!!!! I just found your blog this morning and love it. Picture me, sitting in front of my computer, on your blog, continuously hitting the refresh button, waiting for your next post. Just fabulous! Comment out of the way now, I'm going back in to check out more of your recipes. ~LeslieMichele

  14. These are for sure a holiday tradition around here. And yes, they are easy (and much cheaper) to do at home and very, very addictive too.


    LOL LeslieMichele - thanks so much!! Glad you're enjoying the site!

  15. These look perfect! I have to give this recipe a try.

  16. Yum! Every time I go to a home show, fair, or car show I buy some of these. Now I can make them at home! Thanks.


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