i’ve made several versions of candied nuts in my day: dorie greenspan, thomas keller, and now, my new favorite: elizabeth karmel.  good in salads, chopped and sprinkled over banana-date oatmeal, or straight out of the jar, these sugar-and-spice candied nuts are versatile, easy to prepare, and absolutely delicious.

recipe: sugar-and-spice candied nuts (adapted from elizabeth karmel via smitten kitchen).

* i made a mistake when originally making these nuts, and upon making the nuts correctly the second time around, i think i enjoy my mistake-nuts better! recipe below is mistake version.


2/3 cup dark-brown sugar.
1 and 1/3 cup white granulated sugar.
2 teaspoon kosher salt.
generous pinch of cayenne pepper (or smoked paprika).
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon.
1 pound walnut or pecan halves or whole peeled hazelnuts.
1 egg white, room temperature.
1 tablespoon water.


1.  preheat oven to 300 degrees.

2.  mix sugars, salt, cayenne, and cinnamon, making sure there are no lumps; set aside.

3.  beat egg white and water until frothy but not stiff.  add walnuts or pecans, and stir to coat evenly.

4.  sprinkle nuts with sugar mixture, and toss until evenly coated.  nuts may seem to have too much sugar. let sit for a few minutes until absorbed by egg whites.  gently shake nuts in strainer to sluff-off excess sugar, and make certain of an even coating before spreading on cookie sheet.

5.  spread sugared nuts in a single layer on a cookie sheet fitted with parchment paper. bake for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

6.  remove from oven, and separate nuts as they cool. when completely cool, pour the nuts into a bowl, breaking up any that stick together.

7.  eat and enjoy!