Right up there with frosting sugar cookies, simmering mulled cider and stuffing stockings, making homemade spiced nuts is one of those seasonal traditions that we yearn for year after year. Part of the charm of spiced nuts lies in their versatility: You can graze on them all season long, serve them in bowls at a holiday cocktail party, and package them as an easy, edible gift for teachers, co-workers and friends.
Cooked low and slow with maple syrup, orange zest and spices, these Slow-Cooker Spiced Nuts (pictured above) are a total hosting dream — especially over the holidays, when cookies, spiral hams and other creations are likely taking up the available oven space. They’re so good and easy you’ll want to use this method year-round.
Sweet from maple syrup and brown sugar, spicy from ground chipotle, and just a tad salty, Ina Garten’s Chipotle and Rosemary Roasted Nuts for Food Network Magazine are a well-balanced mix of roasted walnuts, pecans, almonds and cashews.
Healthy and great for snacking, Ellie Krieger’s Spiced Nuts get their kick from a touch of curry powder and cayenne pepper, and they achieve a subtle sweetness from a good drizzle of maple syrup. The addition of crunchy pumpkin seeds gives the mix of pecans, almonds, pistachios and cashews a seasonal edge.
You’ll go back for handful after handful of Food Network Magazine’s Cinnamon-Sugar Spiced Walnuts and Pistachios with Dried Cranberries. Spiced nuts are addictively good on their own, but the addition of a whole cup of dried cranberries brings a tangy-sweet chewiness that contrasts well with the crunchy nuts.
Round, plump Marcona almonds are slightly softer and sweeter than the almonds you’re likely accustomed to eating. Ina brings them into her gourmet spiced-nut recipe, Thyme-Roasted Marcona Almonds, which are easy to make and work as an elegant party snack.