Sunday, January 25, 2015

Spiced Roasted Nuts with Paprika and Thyme

Over a year ago, I earmarked a spiced nuts article in the Food Network Magazine's Thanksgiving edition. And for over a year, this spread sat untouched by me. Occasionally I'd see it on my list of recipes I want to try, and think, "Oh yeah, those sounded really good. I need to make those soon" . . . and then promptly decide to make something else. Well, when the time came to decide what to do for Happy Winter (i.e., Happy Late Christmas) gifts for my coworkers, these roasted nuts finally got their time to shine!

The Food Network article is a mix-and-match recipe of sorts. Kind of a like a "choose your own adventure" book, but with snack foods. They suggested a number of nuts, mix-ins, and flavor combinations, and I went with the paprika-thyme combo with almonds, walnuts, pecans, and pretzels. It seemed to go over well with my coworkers, and I've enjoyed snacking on the leftovers.

Nuts and pretzels are tricky to measure accurately, so I erred on the side of too much. After doubling the recipe below, I wound up with enough to fill a dozen half-pint mason jars plus about half of a quart jar. While I'm quite fond of the nuts/mix-in/flavoring combination I used, it's definitely worth checking out the Food Network article for more ideas.

Spiced Roasted Nuts with Paprika and Thyme
Kind of adapted from Food Network
Yield: 5-1/2 cups 

1 egg white
1-1/2 cups raw unsalted whole almonds
1-1/2 cups raw unsalted walnuts
1 cup raw unsalted pecans
1-1/2 cup mini pretzels
3 Tbsp. sugar
1-1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1-1/2 tsp. paprika
3/4 to 1 tsp. dried thyme
3/4 tsp. mustard powder
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven to 350, and line one or two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, beat the egg white with a whisk until frothy. Add the nuts and pretzels; use a rubber spatula to mix gently but thoroughly so everything is coated with egg white.

In a separate small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients (sugar through pepper). Mix them well, then sprinkle them over the nut mixture; again, mix gently but well.

Spread the mixture in a single layer on the baking sheet(s). Bake for 15-20 minutes or until nice and roasty, stirring every 3-5 minutes. If using multiple pans, rotate them halfway through the baking time. Let cool on the baking sheet(s) before eating or sharing.

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