Dawn’s Early Sugared Nuts

I’m smart. I’m smart because I don’t pay exorbitant prices for pre-sugared nuts. I sugar my own damn nuts. I’ve always been the self-sufficient type-make my own food, wash my own car, milk my own goats…I totally would if I had goats-and that trait mixed with disdain for laziness (hypocritical? Absolutely) and occasional frugal mood swing makes for a propensity for making my own stuff. And it’s cool! I mean, how awesome is it that I don’t need to depend on mega-corporations for my bread, butter and fancy-flavored oils? I’m a pioneer! Like Davey Crocket and Dora the Explorer! I harken back to our founders, who harvested all of their food (once they learned what to plant), baked their own bread and bathed only sometimes! I’m no slave to modern-day conveniences! NO! I am a true American! OOooh Saaay can you Seeeee?!

Whoa.

Uh, yeah. Nuts. That are sugared.

The cool thing about this recipe, is that you can flavor it however you please: liquid or powdered flavorings (spices, herbs, zests, extracts, liquors, etc.).  You can flavor the actual sugar mixture that you bake, or you can toss them in stuff after they come out of the oven, like cocoa. What does one do with sugared nuts? Eat them. In everything. Salads, cereal, oatmeal, cookies, cakes, breads, butters (can you imagine candied pecan butter?!), veggies, meats…need I go on? I thought not.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients

1 Egg white

1/2-3/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

Flavorings of choice (most recently, I added 1/4 teaspoon of orange extract and a dash of cinnamon)

1 1/2-2 cups of Nut of choice, chopped (I used walnuts with the orange-cinnamon flavor)

1. Preheat oven to 375 on convection bake, and line a baking sheet with silicon, parchment, or non-stick-sprayed foil.

2. Combine the egg white, sugar and salt and whisk until glossy and white–all of the sugar won’t have dissolved, but the mixture will have thickened slightly. You’ll want to add enough sugar to make a viscous mixture. The idea is for it to adhere to the nuts.

3. Toss with the nuts, and spread in one layer on a lined baking sheet.

4. Bake about 7 minutes, or until browned and fragrant. Time will vary depending on oven and nuts.

5. Allow to cool before breakage and storage.

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