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Friday, December 10, 2010

Sweet and Spicy Cocktail Nuts - French Fridays with Dorie

With chili powder, pecans, and cashews, I'm pretty sure these nutty nibbles are not classically or authentically French. But the French know a good thing when they taste it, and I'm also pretty sure that any French person worth his or her salt would be more than willing to adopt these nuts as their own.

I used a mixture of whole almonds, pecans, and cashews. Although you could use almost any mixture, or even just one kind of nut, I fell entirely in love with the recipe exactly as I made it the first time. Dorie encourages you to play with the recipe--use a different nut mixture or spice mixture, but it's going to be hard for me to change anything.  To paraphrase Mr. Rogers, I like them just the way they are.

I also did the spice mixture exactly as written, except that I used one-quarter teaspoon of cayenne instead of a mere pinch. The result was definitely not too hot; if I changed anything next time, I think I'd up the amount of cayenne a little more.

Easy, easy, easy. The nuts are coated with a slightly beaten egg white, and then tossed with the sugar and spice mixture.

The most complicated step is separating the nuts as much as possible before they're baked so you don't end up with a glob. I baked them on a baking pan lined with parchment paper.
I can't think of any drink they wouldn't be good with. Because they're called "cocktail nuts," alcoholic drinks come first to mind, but I think they'd enhance the taste of most sodas as well.


  1. Funny that we both used the same nuts mixture and followed the recipe. I was going to use hazelnuts too but the store ran out of it.

    We have been eating this in the morning, in the evening, whenever it strikes us fancy.

  2. Jenn,
    I'm having a holiday party next week, so I'm going to be making a few more batches. Hazelnuts sound like a good addition.

  3. Oh i could have these all day, am going to pop some macadamias now ,coz u have me craving!
    Oh so good!
    Looking forward to these n ur s look way good!

  4. Ah yes cocktails! I knew I was missing something! Great post!

  5. Sugar Plum Fairy,
    Macadamia nuts would be awesome in this mix!

    Yes, and I think happy hour is calling to me now.

  6. Your nuts look very yummy! They were loved at my house too!

  7. i am looking forward to trying these out this weekend. your nuts look great!

  8. Steph,
    ow could you not love them?

    They almost call for a signature cocktail, so people will flock to your house because they know you'll always have those fabulous nuts to snack on plus your terrific signature cocktail.