My grandmother alway "made" nuts for company. They were almonds with sprinkled with coarse salt. I didn't particularly care for nuts as a child, save for the odd dry roasted peanut. I liked hers though. She'd put them out for company in these little silver dishes which made the little snacks seem much fancier than they actually were.
In my quest for healthier holiday snacks I recently stumbled across a recipe for rosemary and sea salt almonds. This was the first recipe I had seen that called for an egg white instead of oil. I've made many spiced nuts over the years, but I never loved using olive oil. The seasonings don't stick to the nuts with oil as well as they do with the egg whites.
I decided to make mine with the egg white but instead of just sea salt, and with no fresh rosemary on hand, I opted for something a bit smokier, spicier but without the heat. In addition to coarse sea salt, I added paprika and cumin to give these nuts the perfect flavor.
1 1/2 cups of raw almonds (skin on)
1 egg white
1 tablespoon of water
1 tablespoon of sea salt, preferable coarse
1 tsp smoked red paprika
1 tsp cumin
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl whisk together the egg white and the water.
- Add the seasonings and mix well into the egg mixture so that all is well incorporated.
- Slowly add the nuts and make sure that they are well covered.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Pour the nut and egg mixture on to the baking sheet and spread out evenly and make sure that the mixture covers all nuts.
- If desired, sprinkle a little more salt over the nuts. Remember some will stick to the parchment paper.
- Bake for 10 minutes but check after 5 to ensure that no nuts are burning or getting too dark. There is no need to turn the nuts over or rotate them.
- When the nuts are done remove from oven and let cool and harden.
- Scrape the nuts gently from the paper using your fingers, and gently scrape the egg and spice mixture from the parchment paper too.
- Place nuts in a bowl or jar, pour the excess seasonings over the nuts.
As seen in the above photo, some of the egg white mixture will stick to the nuts. This has all the flavor, do not try to scrape it all off!
*If you want a slightly sweet and salty version follow the recipe above but add 2 tablespoons of cinnamon sugar to the mixture.
** If you're making these for gifts this holiday season you may want to double or triple the recipe.
Add some nuts and a simple ribbon to a mason jar and voila, a simple lovely gift for friends, neighbors, and teachers - These make lovely hostess gifts when placed in a pretty ceramic bowl.
Save your jars! We save them all - mason, mustard, and jam jars... We love the Bonne Maman jam jars too. All these jars make for wonderful ways to package small edible holiday gift items like nuts or home made sauces, syrups and jams.