Monday, April 1, 2013

Cubicle kitchen: Sugar and Spice Nuts

The following is a real exchange which took place as a result of this recipe:

"Are you responsible for the nuts?"

"I am responsible for the nuts."

"You are evil."

"Yes, I am!"

I love this recipe because it's super-simple, and offers the possibility for a lot of customization.  All you need is a lot of nuts, some sugar, spices, and egg whites.  If you aren't like me and don't keep a carton of egg whites for omelets, may I suggest making some lemon curd?  But that's for another week.

Honestly, the most difficult part of these nuts was figuring out the best way to serve them.  I usually just put out a plate of cookies, cupcakes, etc. onto the table next to the coffee-making accoutrements and communal fridge.  That way people can take one or two as they wish.  With nuts, I wasn't sure if people would be concerned about grabbing handfuls out of one big bowl, but I also was not about to divvy up individual bags.  What I ultimately did was put out my big bag of nuts with a tower of little paper cups, so people could scoop out what they wanted.

I may be evil, but I'm hygienic.

Sugar and Spice Nuts

Recipe from Smitten Kitchen

My notes:

  • I increased the recipe by about 50%, using a pound of walnuts, and a quarter pound each of pecans and almonds
  • I used regular brown sugar because I didn't have any dark in the pantry
  • My cayenne was on the older side so it had lost a fair amount of potency.  Which was fine with me, I didn't want them too spicy.  I added less than the recipe asked for and instead added some more cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice and ginger.  The cayenne still added a little richness, I think.
  • I used one large pan and one smaller, because of limitations with my oven size.  Two sheet pans would have been best in order to allow for the nuts to be in a single layer.
  • Other ideas I have for flavors to add (not all at once!): cocoa, citrus zest, gingerbread spices, dried fruits, etc.


  1. These look yummy, and I love smitten kitchen.

  2. You know I have the same thoughts when I bring something into work. What is the most hygienic way to serve and maintain the item?

    Glad I am not the only one who cares about food safety :)