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Sunday, November 20, 2016

Pumpkin spice candied nuts

At my grandfather's 90th birthday (!!) celebration last night, my aunt (who hosts Thanksgiving) asked me if I was baking anything for Thanksgiving.  Of course, the answer was yes!  I asked her what she wants, and I heard the most beautiful words ever: "you have free reign."  As in I can bake whatever I want!  And what's even more, my cousin (whom I love dearly, and we will all miss at Thanksgiving dinner) with the nut allergy won't be there, I can really bake anything!

Like these nuts.

OK, OK, they don't technically fall under "baking," however they do go in the oven, so they are technically baked.

I had been toying with the idea of making some pumpkin spice candied nuts for a while.  But as you probably know, I'm not a huge fan of pumpkin spice.  And when I came home and got ready to bake them, the pumpkin spice mix I thought I had at home was nowhere to be seen.  So with that little snafu (combined with the fact that my Trader Joe's was out of pumpkin spice, too!) as my disdain for pumpkin spice flavors, I made these candied nuts with a combination of spices found in pumpkin spice, but not all of them.  Which is fine for me, since the missing spices are actually the spices I don't like in pumpkin spice flavored foods and drinks.

I chose to package these nuts in a clear cube box (meant for cupcakes).  With a nice bow and cute hanging tag, they'd be a perfect holiday hostess gift...or gift for the pumpkin spice lover in your life!

Pumpkin Spice Candied Nuts
Adapted from these candied cinnamon sugar nuts


6 cups of nuts (I used mixed nuts.  I wanted to make sure to have some pecans in it, since I think pumpkin pie and pecan pie are synonymous with Thanksgiving.  After devouring half the recipe, B and I decided that the pecans were the best part.  No one would fault you if you went ALL pecans or half pecans and half other nuts.)
2 egg whites
2 Tbsp water
2 cups granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp salt

Optional (if you want to really make them "pumpkin spice"-y):

pinch of ground allspice
pinch of ground cloves


Preheat the oven to 300F.
Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.
Spray with non-stick spray (if using parchment paper).
Set aside.

Mix nuts in a large bowl.
Set aside.

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

Pour sugar mixture over nuts.
Stir to coat completely.
Spread nuts over the baking sheets.
Bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.

Allow to cool completely.

Store nuts at room temperature, covered.

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