As the holidays approach, having guest worthy whole food snacks and appetizers on hand can be a challenge even when you are prepared and have plenty of notice. But what if they just stop by or call to let you know they’d like to sneak in a visit with you in between family visits and they’ll be there in 15 minutes?!
If you’re like me, first you start running around the house with a broom, trying to get most of the dog hair off the floor, quickly put the dishes away, wipe down the kitchen island of breakfast crumbs and tidy the bathroom. Five minutes spent, 10 minutes left.
That’s when I start pulling open pantry doors and rummaging through the fridge trying to find something to serve to my guests. One of our favorite holiday treats is a bowl of Spiced Candied Nuts. But the traditional method, which requires the oven, takes about 20 minutes, not including the time to heat up the oven and the time it takes to cool them down enough to serve them.
So I thought I’d show you the quick, 5 minute, cheat method of making candied nuts. Spread them out on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and pop them in the fridge or freezer and in 5-10 minutes they’re ready to go. With 5 minutes to spare, you’ll even have time to whip up Irresistible Chocolates (they set in 15 minutes in the freezer while you’re visiting) or put together a cheese plate and crackers and a pot of tea. Heck, I’ll even have 30 seconds to go see if I remembered to brush my hair today.
I’ll be honest, now that I know how to make these nuts the 5 minute way, I’ll probably never go back to making them in the oven. So much faster and easier this way.
Spiced Candied Nuts
When I’m in a rush I don’t even measure, just a dash of this, dash of that, honey or maple syrup to coat and that’s it. But for those who might not feel comfortable with that way of cooking, I’ve given you the exact measurements.
2 cups mixed nuts, unsalted (whatever you have on hand)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
3 tablespoons honey or (maple syrup for vegans)
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and then set in a nonstick pan over medium high heat, stirring, for 5 minutes. Spread the nuts onto a piece of parchment paper and place in the freezer for 5 minutes until they cool and the honey hardens.