I love receiving and giving homemade food gifts. I see cooking as a lovely way to tell people how you feel about them. Have you ever seen the 1992 foreign film "Like Water for Chocolate" set in the era of the Mexican revolution? Brilliant. Tita expresses her love and passion through her cooking and the people who eat her food literally experience the emotion that she had as she prepared the cuisine. This film inspired my interpretation... I say a little prayer as I'm cooking, that the food I prepare provides the people eating my food much nourishment and pleasure. I do this ritual for my family and as I'm catering. Trust me, spiced nuts taste great but spiced nuts with a blessing... heavenly.
These addictive nuts make great hostess gifts or stocking stuffers and are delicious little nibbles during cocktails.
The other day I paused from my frantic pace of the holidays and took a moment to experience some authentic joy. My wish for you... that you may discover true JOY this holiday season.
Holiday Spiced Nuts
(adapted from a recipe of Emeril Lagasse)
This recipe makes 8 cups nuts, plenty to share as gifts.
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 cups unsalted mixed nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans, etc.)
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
Mix spices and set aside. Toast the nuts in a dry skillet, stirring frequently, for about 4 minutes. Add the butter and stir for one minute. Add the spices and sugar, 2 tablespoons water, and the salt and cook, stirring until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Transfer nuts to (two) aluminum lined baking sheets and separate them with a fork. Place in a 300 degree oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let nuts cool until hardened. Store in an airtight container.
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