French Fridays with Dorie: Sweet and spicy cocktail nuts

Dorie Greenspan sweet spicy cocktail nuts on eatlivetravelwrite.comThis week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe is a winner for all those holiday parties I am sure you have coming up – something to serve with cocktails that’s great to have on hand for those unexpected visitors.

Dorie’s recipe for sweet and spicy cocktail nuts (p 18) explains how nuts are the most popular choice for apéritif snacks in France, which I definitely remember from my years there.  Even ordering a beer in a simple café, you will often be served a small bowl of nuts, mostly peanuts, but nut mixes are popular choices in people’s homes for l’apéro

I found Dorie’s recipe intriguing as it called for the nuts (your choice – I used unsalted cashews and pecans as that’s what I had on hand) to be coated in sugar and spices and egg whites, then baked in the oven.  I had never thought about how flavoured nuts get their crisp exterior and now I know!

I had a little bit of a mishap with half the batch, not having removed enough excess egg white before I put them in the oven. I highly recommend taking the time (and not being impatient, like, errr… some people) to remove as much excess egg white as possible before you bake them otherwise they will burn.

This is a great recipe, so simple (once you get the technique right!) because you can customise the flavours according to what you like. I used Penzey’s Black and Red spice with sugar and they were deliciously sweet and hot. You could use any combination of spice and sugar – the possibilities are endless!

As for these, they were perfect with a festive mini gin and tonic… Cheers!

Want to join in the fun? Join French Fridays with Dorie here and follow along on Twitter.

A few people have asked for recipes for the French Fridays with Dorie entries.  The group does not publish the recipes on our blogs, rather, we would prefer it if you would purchase the book yourselves (you definitely want this book!) which you can do here on Amazon (great price right now) or here on Amazon Canada (it’s also on special!)

Did you enter my giveaway to win a copy of Harold McGee’s new book, Keys to Good Cooking?  Simply leave a comment here before Wednesday, December 8th at 6pm EST.

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40 Responses to French Fridays with Dorie: Sweet and spicy cocktail nuts

  1. Liz December 3, 2010 at 06:47 #

    I made these, too!!! Love your beautiful photos~

  2. Mr. Neil December 3, 2010 at 07:26 #

    Well I have to say, I came home to the acrid smell of burning nuts and wondered what was up…

    BUT – joy! – the second batch was featured in my lunch, and it was difficult to keep the wlves at bay in the canteen at work! Scrumptious, and the coating is not too thick and hard (as per the usual cheap beer nuts, for you North Americans).

    I’m looking forward to a kilo being packed for our Mexican Amazing Race extravaganza commencing mid-December…

  3. penny aka jeroxie December 3, 2010 at 07:32 #

    I agree. These are perfect for the holiday season. winter or summer

  4. Brian @ A Thought For Food December 3, 2010 at 08:04 #

    I LOVE NUTS (does that sound bad?)!!! In all seriousness, I just love how they pair with cocktails… and this sweet and spicy take on them is very exciting! 😉

  5. Belinda @zomppa December 3, 2010 at 08:57 #

    These are way too addictive….could be very dangerous.

  6. Barbara @ Vino Luci Style December 3, 2010 at 11:22 #

    One day when things settle a bit; I hope to join in the Dorie fest but no matter for this week; I’ve been making nuts like these for years. I always include a package in the holiday gift baskets I send to family. I love a bit of heat and sweet too; funny how every year I seem to up the heat quotient just a bit more!

  7. stephirey December 3, 2010 at 11:24 #

    Weren’t these terrific! I know I’ll be making them several times through the holidays. Love your pictures.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite December 4, 2010 at 06:51 #

      Yes, if we were hosting parties this year, I know the nuts would make an appearance on many a holiday table!

  8. Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels December 3, 2010 at 11:42 #

    These were so good and addicting weren’t they?! Yours look so delicious and I just LOVE your photos! 🙂

  9. Jessica of My Baking Heart December 3, 2010 at 13:31 #

    I know all too well about the excess egg white… I had a big dark puddle when mine came out of the oven. 🙁 I’m definitely trying them again, though, so I’ll have to remember to be patient!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite December 4, 2010 at 06:50 #

      Yes it’s a bit tricky to make sure you get enough of the egg white off without removing most of the flavour too…

  10. Becky December 3, 2010 at 14:50 #

    Nice display of the nuts in that cute little dish. Can’t wait to try the recipe myself!

  11. Rhonda December 3, 2010 at 22:14 #

    I love spiced nuts, especially sweet and spicey. They also make a great gift!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite December 4, 2010 at 06:50 #

      Since I made these, I had a whole bunch of ideas of other types of spices to use as well!

  12. Lora @cakeduchess December 3, 2010 at 22:49 #

    Hi Mardi-Your nuts look beautiful. I loved this recipe. Your photos are gorgeous. I hope you have a lovely weekend. xx

  13. Jen Laceda December 3, 2010 at 23:38 #

    I’m really digging all of Dorie’s recipes! Now, I want to buy the book! This nut recipe is a perfect add-on to salads!

  14. Anna Johnston December 4, 2010 at 00:51 #

    Oh yes, I’ve just made these for a little party but ended up eating most of them so am about to make some more. Fantastic, love yummy nuts like this 🙂

  15. Liana @ femme fraiche December 4, 2010 at 10:17 #

    My aunt always has spicy nuts on hand at Christmas. It might be one of my favourite parts of the pre-feast. Cashews are the best choice yum!

  16. Grace December 4, 2010 at 16:28 #

    These are perfect for the upcoming holiday season. I always have various nibbles on my kitchen island, these would be a perfect addition. I’ve been meaning to add Dorie’s book to my collection. Every time the group posts on a recipe I get a little jealous. Everything always looks so good!

  17. Magic of Spice December 4, 2010 at 23:58 #

    Love these, so great for entertaining 🙂

  18. Lana December 5, 2010 at 04:41 #

    Mardi, your nuts look fantastic! But what else is new?:) Almost every morning when I get up and my head starts spinning from everything I have to do, I just say to myself,”If Mardy can do it, you can, too”. You are the organizational guru to me (and I am pretty OCD about planning:)

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite December 8, 2010 at 20:05 #

      Oh thank you so much – that is very sweet of you to say. I am really just all about lists and post it notes 😉

  19. Krissy December 6, 2010 at 01:13 #

    Your nuts turned out looking so delicious. Thanks for the tips. I will make these soon so I enjoy seeing what you did…great job.

  20. Conor @ Hold the Beef December 7, 2010 at 19:32 #

    Dangerous. Between my housemate and I, these would last exactly the length of time it would take us to eat them all one after the other. Guests would not get a look in.

    A good way to use up egg whites in this festive period of custard making? That probably isn’t so applicable to you though, Ms Macaron.

  21. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction December 8, 2010 at 21:32 #

    I’m all about recipes for nuts… Especially around the holidays. Will have to add these to my list.

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