Nuts! More Snow!

These have been sitting in my”draft” pile for a while…not because they weren’t good, I just couldn’t find the right occasion. Well now I have two: SNOWMAGGEDON (the sequel to 2009’s SNOWPOCALYSE) and the Super Bowl! These festive nuts would be perfect for either occasion.  Easy, sweet, warm, crunchy, and a little spicy they’re perfect for munching on the couch watching the snow fall or watching the Saints win their first Super Bowl ever!

This calls for garam masala, a typical India spice, that I had none of when I made these for football a couple months ago (I still don’t have any, but that’s here nor there).  Mark suggested making your own like this:

  • 10 cardamom pods, seeds only
  • 1 3-inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg pieces
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon fennel

Method: Put all ingredients in a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook, shaking pan occasionally until lightly browned and fragrant, just a few minutes. Cool, then ground to a fine powder in a coffee grinder. Store in airtight container for a few months.

I took the more…liberal method…and just put a few shakes of cinnamon, cloves, and cumin in a bowl, grated some fresh nutmeg, and called it a day. I also can’t seem to remember why there are so few (and so bad) pictures…bah whatever I can’t be concerned with that on a day like today, the world is coming to an end though massive amounts of frozen precipitation!! If you haven’t gone to the grocery store yet, don’t bother. The shelves are bare.  Hunker down and make some spicy nuts!

Caramelized Spicy Nuts

by Mark Bittman,  How to Cook Everything

Makes: 4 to 6 servings
Time: 15 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons peanut or neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups unsalted mixed shelled nuts ( I used the odd assortment in my pantry: almonds, pecans, and hazelnuts)


1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet with the oil. Put a wide pot or deep skillet over high heat, and 2 cups of water and the sugar, and bring to boil. Stir in the spices, salt and nuts. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid is reduced to syrup, 5 to 10 minutes.

"deconstructed" garam masala.

2. Turn the heat to low under the nuts and remove with a slotted spoon, letting the excess syrup drain off a bit and then spreading them on the baking sheet.
3. Roast the nuts for 10 minutes, tossing once or twice with a spatula. Remove from the oven and let cool; the sugar coating will harden as the nuts cool. Serve or store in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 or 3 days.


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