Today’s slow cooker Sunday recipe is something perfect for this time of year… Spiced Mixed Nuts. If you are thinking they are spicy nuts sorry to disappoint you, but, these are more sweet over anything else, think candied nuts. Although, if you would like yours to have a little kick, add a teaspoon (or two) of cayenne pepper to the sugar mixture to get them sweet & spicy.
The original recipe called for a cup each of almonds, pecans, walnuts and cashews, which, in all honesty can get a bit pricey to purchase separately. So, what I ended up doing was purchasing a bag of roasted and unsalted mixed nuts from my local Trader Joe’s. It had approximately 4 cups of nuts which was just perfect and only cost $8. Included in this mix are almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts and pecans.
While you could simply bake these in the oven, cooking them in a slow cooker really gives the spices time to develop and flavor the nuts. In one bowl I whisked together an egg white with vanilla extract until it was well blended. I added in the nuts and stirred them until they were coated. In another bowl I whisked together sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg & cloves and salt.
I then added the nut mixture to the sugar mixture and gave it a few good stirs to coat the nuts.
I sprayed the insert of my slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray and then transferred the nuts into it. I also added in the extra sugar mixture that didn’t stick to the nuts. I covered it and set it to cook on high for 90 minutes, stirring the mixture every 15 minutes. Truthfully, my slow cooker isn’t one of those nifty digital ones that you can set the time, so, I set it for the least amount of time on high, 4 hours.
After the 90 minutes, I stirred in 2 tablespoons of water and covered it once again and cooked it for an additional 20 minutes on low. This will allow any of the sugar mixture that hasn’t adhered to the nuts stick. During those first 90 minutes there were a few times I thought that the sugar wasn’t going to stick but, it all came together during these final 20 minutes.
During the final 20 minutes I covered a rim baking sheet with wax paper, and once the 20 minutes were up I transferred the nuts to the baking sheet and let the nuts cool completely. I then transferred them to an airtight container. These were destined for a dear friend in another state, but, before boxing them up I had a few friends taste test them and they immediately put in their requests for a batch for Christmas!
These would make a nice a gift or a nice treat to have at home for yourself or for when guests arrive.
Slow Cooker Spiced Nuts
1 large egg white
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup almonds*
1 cup pecan halves*
1 cup shelled walnuts*
1 cup unsalted cashews*
1 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons water
*Use any nut combination you choose. Or purchase a mixed bag as I did
**If you want sweet & spicy nuts add in a teaspoon or two of cayenne pepper to the sugar mixture
In a large bowl whisk together the egg white and vanilla extract. Add the nuts and toss to coat.
In another large bowl whisk together the sugars, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg cloves and salt. Add in the nut mixture and toss to coat.
Using butter or non-stick cooking spray, grease the insert of a slow cooker. Transfer the nut mixture, along with any of the remaining sugar mixture, to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 90 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. After the 90 minutes gradually stir in the water and cook covered an additional 20 minutes.
Cover a baking sheet with wax paper and spread the nuts on the paper and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
Recipe from Taste of Home