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Chinese Five Spice Candied Nuts for Homemade Gift Giving

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Chinese five spice candied nuts
Chinese five spice candied nuts are sweet, a little spicy and crispy with a light candy coating. They don’t stick in your teeth. Better yet, they take almost no time to prepare.

At Christmastime there were always bowls of nuts around the house. They were still in the shell so you had to work for your snack. The almonds were easy, the Brazil nuts practically impossible for little hands.  I loved how bowls of nuts in the shell were so ornamental, like little pieces of beautifully shaped wood.

My dad loved nuts so whenever I see cans or jars of roasted nuts I think of him. He loved to nibble salty peanuts and cashews along with a drink before supper so as kids that’s what we’d often buy him for his birthday and for Christmas.
His birthday was December 21st so by the time Christmas arrived the house was usually full of nuts (so to speak). Sometimes he’d hide the special tins in his armoire, along with his fudge, but more often than not there would be a bowlful of mixed nuts on the table before supper.

Mom came across this recipe years ago in a Food & Wine magazine and they became a holiday staple.
Chinese five spice candied nuts
 
I sometimes make these to give as gifts, or to bring as a hostess gift when we`re invited out to eat. If you`re having friends over these are a speedy and delicious nibble with drinks before supper.
They’re sweet, a little spicy and crispy with a light candy coating. They don’t stick in your teeth. Better yet, they take almost no time to prepare.
If Chinese Five Spice powder isn’t your thing try chili powder or your favourite spice blend. And mix up the nuts too.

Five-spice candied nuts

  • ¼ cup butter
  • 5 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp molasses
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp Chinese Five Spice Powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 4 cups mixed nuts (raw)
  1. In a large saucepan or wok, melt butter.
  2. Add sugar, molasses, water, salt and spices. Stir until sugar dissolves.
  3. Add nuts to the mixture and cook until syrup thickly coats nuts, stirring frequently (5 minutes or so).
  4. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 350 F until nuts are lightly toasted and a little crisp (10-15 minutes).
  5. Test while baking to ensure you don’t overcook the nuts and the syrup doesn’t burn.
 

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