I took the easy route this week with the Sweet & Spicy Cocktail Nuts since the recipes for FFwD weren’t posted in time for me to make one of the more challenging dishes over the weekend.
I struggled with how cocktail nuts could be considered French cooking but Dorie says that the reason she included these nuts in her Around My French Table cookbook (p. 18) is because cocktail nuts are always served in France when you go to a party or restaurant even though they are very expensive to buy there. It’s something that I probably would have never noticed but the nuts remind Dorie of France and I’m sure now that I know about them I’ll take notice of them in French restaurants and bars if I ever get to go there.
I’d never thought about how yummy flavored cocktail nuts were made until I saw this recipe and was surprised how easy it is. It’s as simple as tossing whatever nuts you want to use in egg whites and then tossing in enough sugar mixed with spices to coat the nuts in a delicious goo. Then you bake them at 300 F for 30 minutes and they are ready to party!
The sugar & spice mixture is perfect for experimenting, but I started with her mixture of mainly sugar with chili powder, salt, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper that was in the book since it looked so good! All it needed was something sour like lime thrown in to cover all of the tastes (sweet, salty, spicy, sour) but I think that might not have been considered a bonne idée (trans: good idea) as Dorie says. Next time I’ll try my Chinese 5 Spice mix or maybe some curry powder.
One tip that I learned from making them is to take Dorie seriously when she says to shake the excess goo off of the nuts one by one before putting them on the baking sheet. If you don’t all of your nuts will be stuck together on the baking sheet and you’ll have to break them all apart after they come out of the oven.