NutsI can see I won’t get to do any baking before Christmas day, so am glad I at least managed to make a batch of spiced nuts.

I have several recipes for various kinds, but find the one below the quickest and easiest to knock out when I don’t have a lot of time.

I tend to use a little more chili powder than the half-teaspoon called for, but up to you.  Don’t let the “candied” in the name turn you off, these are not nearly as sugary as some, especially the ones crusted with egg white, which tend to be very sweet.

With their light glaze and bit of spice, these can be served before a meal without ruining appetites.

Orange Candied Nuts
I’ve had this recipe for so many years I can’t remember the source.

3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
2-3 tablespoons orange juice
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/4 teaspoon  white pepper
1/2 teaspoon  mild chili powder (or more to taste)
4-1/2 cups walnut and/or pecan halves

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine sugar, salt, spices, orange rind and juice in large bowl. Add nuts; toss to coat. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Coat regular pans with non-stick vegetable oil spray, or if your baking sheet is non-stick, you can just spray it with oil and forget the foil (I’m a poet!).  Spread the nut-sugar mixture evenly over prepared sheet.

Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until dark brown and bubbly, stirring the nuts halfway through. Watch carefully so they don’t burn! Meanwhile, take another piece of foil, or another non-stick baking sheet, and spray with oil.

Remove nuts from oven. Immediately spread on prepared foil or sheet, separating with 2 forks. Cool completely. Store in airtight container; citrus flavor actually improves with time.

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