Saturday, May 10, 2008

Simple Spiced Nuts

Hubby was feeling snacky, and was perusing the pantry for something yummy. He pulled out the jar of peanuts, and asked "Why would you buy unsalted peanuts?" For my favorite granola bars. By the way, these work great with all sorts of nuts, fruits and seeds. The last batch I made had pecans, peanuts, dried figs, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds. The original recipe from the Kitchen Sink works well with any combination, as long as you keep the dry and wet ratio the same (I lean towards the max of peanut butter and honey to ensure a chewier bar).

Anyhow, looking at the jar of unsalted peanuts, I decided to make spiced nuts. All the recipes I found included lots of butter and sugar and baking. I didn't want sweet. I didn't want to turn on the oven. So I pulled out a skillet, peanut oil, paprika and salt.

Simple Spiced Peanuts

peanuts
peanut oil
paprika
salt

Heat a very small amount of peanut oil in a skillet over medium heat. Dump in a single layer of unsalted peanuts. Shake paprika over the nuts. I started with sweet, then decided to add some hot, because I like hot. Sprinkle over some salt. Toss occasionally, until well-coated and hot. Let cool. Munch.

If you want to make sweet-spicy nuts, you could replace the tiny bit of peanut oil with a tiny bit of butter, and add a little brown sugar, corn syrup, or whatever. Heat until the sugar is dissolved, then continue with peanuts and seasoning.

These may not be as tasty as other spiced nuts I've made (I remember a delicious batch that involved beating egg whites to semi-stiff peaks), but they're quite good for lazy cravings.

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