I love nuts. Although this looks like primarily peanuts (which it is) there were quite a few oddments included, hazelnuts, brazil nuts, walnuts and almonds to name a few. I had a few bags of nuts in the cupboard, bits of leftover this and that from various recipes that called for them, and I had a craving for something sweet and spicy to make them just a bit more interesting than a bag of nuts is wont to be. I did some digging and came up with this. I think it could have used a little more spice personally; it had a tiny zing of heat but needed a bit more of a kick to be truly satisfying. Maybe a little lemon juice or cider vinegar for an acidic touch or maybe a little fish sauce for a bit if an Asian bent, if you like that kind of thing, or even cinnamon if you are into that sweet Christmasy touch. It was a good starting point anyway and I ate the whole lot over a stretch of about 3 days.
Sweet and Spicy Nuts
4 cups of untoasted nuts (whatever varieties appeal to you, or you have handy)
1 tsp salt (I used a little less as some of my nuts were already salted)
½ tsp ground black pepper
¼ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
½ cup white sugar
¼ cup water
1 Tbls butter
Preheat oven to 175 C. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly coat with cooking spray. (This might be a good idea, I did mine on the trays and they stuck like limpets)
Combine nuts in a large bowl. Add salt, black pepper, cumin, and cayenne pepper; toss to coat.
Heat sugar, water, and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until the butter is melted.
Cook for 1 minute and remove from heat. Slowly pour butter mixture over the bowl of nuts and stir to coat.
Transfer nuts to the prepared baking sheet and spread into a single layer.
Bake nuts in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Stir nuts until the warm syrup coats every nut. Spread into a single layer, return to the oven, and bake until nuts are sticky and roasted, about 6 minutes.
Allow to cool before serving. (This IS a good idea, these things are blisteringly hot when straight out of the oven as the scorch marks on my fingers and tongue prove quite conclusively)