When I was in college, very rarely did my friends and I enjoy the luxury of having finger food to go with our beer. Most of the time, we had to content ourselves with salted peanuts — the greasy kind with skins on.
These sweet spicy bar nuts are a far cry from those days. These aren’t greasy at all. The spices and seasonings stick to the nuts because the nuts are first coated with beaten egg whites.
And what make them sweet and spicy? Sugar and cayenne powder. And to complement the sweetness and spiciness, there’s salt, cinnamon, cumin and turmeric.
Inspired by a recipe from Giada de Laurentiis, these bar nuts are slow roasted in a 275F oven for 35 minutes. No stirring, no oil spatters. Just delicious nuts that you’ll enjoy munching on with or without beer.
- Preheat the oven to 275F.
- Line a baking tray with non-stick paper (Giada sprayed her baking tray with oil but then she probably doesn’t have to hand wash the oily tray — non-stick baking paper makes my life less complicated).
- Place the cayenne, turmeric, cinnamon, cumin and salt in a bowl.
- Stir until the color looks even. Add the sugar and stir again, making sure that every ingredient is distributed uniformly and that there are no lumps.
- Beat the egg white until stiff.
- Add the nuts to the beaten egg white. Mix to coat each piece of nut with egg white.
- Throw in the spice mix.
- Mix to coat each piece of nut with the spice mix.
- Spread the nuts on the lined baking tray.
- Bake for 35 minutes. No peeking.
- By the end of 35 minutes, the egg white and spices would have formed a light crust on the outside of each nut. The sugar is still soft at this point so cool the nuts for about two minutes to harden the sugar a bit.
- While the nuts are still warm, use a spatula to scrape them off the tray. If you wait until the nuts are cool, the nuts will stick to the paper even if it’s non-stick. Sugar does that. So, as soon as the sugar hardens just a bit, separate the nuts from the paper.
- The bar nuts will get crisper as they cool.
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