There is nothing that signals the start of Holiday Parties as much as these revered candied nuts that are drawn from an original Monticello recipe. Through the years we have tweaked it and expanded it to make a scrumptious array of styles. They create tasty gifts that demand a repeat performance year after year. Below we describe our actual spice blends and techniques that have received raves again this season.
Mr. Jefferson's Spiced Nuts
The Basic Recipe:
4 large egg whites
1/2 Cup Champagne, brut is best
2 Cups sugar
2 tsp. Kosher salt
1 Tbs. Cinnamon
8 Cups nuts
Add the spices for each kind of nut. See below.
(Reduce or expand quantities using the ratio above)
Preheat the oven to 250F. Spray two large baking sheets with nonstick. Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until light and frothy. Add the champagne, sugar, salt, vanilla and spices and whisk until well blended.
Add the nuts and stir until completely coated. Spread the nuts in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets.
Bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, until the coating is absorbed and the nuts appear dry. Stir them occasionally to keep them from sticking.
Line two racks or a cool surface with waxed or parchment paper. Turn out the nuts on the paper and spread out. Separate the nuts with 2 forks and allow to cool completely. Store in air tight containers.
Spices for each kind of nut as follows:
(measurements are for basic recipe.)
Pecans: 1 tsp. nutmeg, 1/4 tsp. Vanilla.
Walnuts: 1 tsp. nutmeg, 1/4 tsp. Vanilla.
Almonds 2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. nutmeg, dash of cloves
Cashews/Peanuts: 2 Tbs., Cheyenne Pepper or Red Chili Powder
Spicy Blend: 2 tsp. Chipotle powder, 1/8 tsp. mace, dash of cloves, cayenne pepper to taste. Note: we have used many combinations for this like, cashew nuts, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts & peanuts.
Chocolate Nuts: Prepare nuts using spices as above and then after almost cool dust with a combination of 6 tsp. Coco Powder &Baker's Sugar - optional : 1 tsp. Chili Powder. (New Mexico is best) and then allow to cool completely.
Thank you to Tod for all the Creative Nutty Concoctions for Christmas 2010...
Best wishes for a fine Holiday and a brilliant new year
from all your friends at Jefferson's Table!