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We usually see a flood of maple spiced nut recipes around Christmas, but my husband and I like these all year round. I’m always trying to find snack food that my husband can take to work and have it be bustled around his backpack while he is out skiing and keep him from wasting away. If possible, I try to stay away from refined sugars. I had a recipe we really enjoyed but alas it is lost to the archive of other many favorite recipes that I poorly cataloged. But it’s always fun to take a look around some fabulous food blogs and try something new. I adapted a couple of recipes, one from The Hip Hostess and one from Jaimie Living . I liked that my old recipe used chili powder and I wanted to stay with that, but I liked the addition of lemon zest Jamie used and the addition if paprika that Ilana used. So this worked out to be a nice combination of both recipes. I’m delighted at how these little yummies turned out. I think there’s a fine balance between the sweet and the spice. Many recipes often land on the “too sweet” side of life” and take over the flavor of the nuts. These turned out to be just the right balance of both. The lemon zest really helped to balance the sweetness of the maple syrup and the maple balances out the spice.

A perfect snack food for those in the mountains burning off all those calories (that’s my man, not me). I’m also heading to a friends house for dinner and these will make a lovely hostess gift. I love when my work does double duty. Ok not much work, I’ll admit. Sorry Christa (if you’re reading this) I did not slave. It’s a mix, stir, pour, cook, done kinda recipe, but all time is valuable, so it counts!

Maple Spiced Nuts

  • 4 cups of raw nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts and/or pecans)
    6 Tbsp Real Maple Syrup
    1 1/2 tsp salt
    2 tsp chili powder
    1/2 tsp paprika
    2 tsp lemon rind
    1/4 tsp cayenne (optional)

Heat the oven to 300 F. Mix all the ingredients together except the nuts. In a large bowl measure out whichever nuts you choose to use and dump the maple syrup mixture on top. Spread the nuts out onto 2 baking sheets into a single layer. Bake for 10 minutes, then stir, bake another 10 minutes. If the nuts aren’t quite toasted add a couple of minutes to the timer. Be careful not to leave them too long. It happens quick. Remove from the oven and stir again and allow to cool for 5 minutes, stir again. If they are no longer sticking to themselves they are ready to be placed in a lovely bowl and served!

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