I just made these nuts for a gathering of women I hadn't seen since high school
The recipe is from The Frog Commissary Cookbook by Steven Poses, Anne Clark and Becky Roller. I've included my changes (adding sugar to finished nuts, using a specific chili powder, less black pepper).
These nuts are popular at parties, they're great to have on hand for snacks and prove to be an interesting salad topper.
They are too spicy for my husband.
More for me.
1 lb. shelled walnut halves
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 tbsp. corn oil
3 tbsp. sugar
1 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground mild Santa Cruz chili powder*
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. cayenne
1/4 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/8 tsp. pepper
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Blanch the walnuts in boiling water to cover for 1 minute only; drain well.
While still hot, put in a bowl and toss with the sugar and corn oil. Let stand 10 minutes. Arrange on a single layer on a rimmed baking tray. Bake for about 30 minutes, stirring every 5 to 10 minutes. Watch nuts carefully after the 20-minute mark so they don't burn. While nuts are baking, combine seasonings.
When brown and crispy, put nuts into a bowl and while still warm, toss with the seasonings to coat. Spread in a single layer to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
*I used to buy this at West Point Market in Akron when I lived there; it is also available online here: http://www.santacruzchili.com/products.htm Or, you can use 1/2 tsp. any other chili powder.