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Friday, October 18, 2013

Wine tour treats: Candied cinnamon-sugar nuts

My friends and I are going on a wine tour out on Long Island this coming weekend.  I organized the trip in August, and I'm so excited that it's finally almost here!  I found this company that looks great - they pick you up, give you a champagne toast on the way out to the vineyards, provide a full bar in the limo, lunch and snacks, and then after stopping at 2-3 vineyards, we stop at a farm.  But of course, that's not enough for me.  I have to bring some snacks and treats, too :)

Earlier in the week I ran to Target to pick up some snacks, but also some ingredients that I needed to make a few treats of my own!  Some of the things I bought were super easy, like chips, salsa, and Halloween candy (I love anything miniature, and Halloween candy is no exception, but I cannot keep it in my apartment....which is why I decided to bring some on the wine tour, since Halloween is less than 2 weeks away).  And I was going to buy some nuts.  But then I thought - why buy nuts when I can make delicious candied nuts for the trip.  I had some other thoughts of things to bake, of course, but those will be addressed in later blog posts :)

Now I've made two kinds of candied nuts on the blog before.  There were candied espresso walnuts, and then there were spicy-sweet mixed nuts (which I actually made twice, since I left an ingredient out the first time....oops!).  Honestly, although very different, they were both FANTASTIC, and I have made each of them more than once. 

So why, you may ask, am I making a third kind of candied nut now?  Firstly, I am afraid that the coffee and spicy spices may ruin the wine tasting experience (I'm no wine connoisseur, but I know that some flavors do interact with the wine, and I'm guessing these two might).  And secondly, I feel like this little blog of mine has been a little neglected as of late (I know, I know....I only have myself to blame!).  So a new candied nut recipe needed to be made.

Turns out, there are only a few ingredients in this recipe, and I happened to have them all at home.  I mean, honestly, it would be some sort of crime if I didn't have sugar, cinnamon, and egg whites at home!  I even had the nuts leftover from some other baking endeavors.

Candied Cinnamon-Sugar Nuts
From Sally's Baking Addiction


5 cups whole pecans, unsalted
1 cup whole almonds, unsalted (If you read the actual blog post, she says that you NEED the pecans, but can add almost any other nut.  I happened to have had pecans, but I also had mixed nuts with pecans, so I changed the proportions and did 3 cups each of pecans and mixed nuts.)
2 egg whites
2 Tablespoons water
2 cups granulated sugar
2 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons salt


Preheat oven to 300F degrees.
Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and spray with non-stick spray; or a silicone baking mat.
Set aside.

Mix pecans and almonds in a large bowl.
Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites and water on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, about 4-5 minutes.
Add the sugar, cinnamon, and salt, stirring until well combined.

Pour sugar mixture over nuts and stir to coat completely.
Spread nuts over the baking sheets and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15.
Allow to cool completely and enjoy.

Store nuts at room temperature, covered.

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