Cinnamon sugar cashews

Nuts are de rigueur at any party and shouldn’t be thought of just as holiday fare

When I’m putting together a party I want to make sure that I have a variety in the way things are served; that is, I don’t want everything to be served on a toothpick or a piece of toast. Varying each thing you serve and the way it is served adds interest and fun

One such thing to consider is a bowl of snack sized crackers or nuts that you have taken the time to add your own special touch. When serving such snacks in a communal bowl, be sure to add a spoon or two so that guests can serve themselves and keep the bowl of nibbles from becoming contaminated

These cashews are pleasantly crispy with a warm sweetness

Recipe can be doubled

1 egg white, whisked until very frothy
1 tablespoon water
3 cups salt roasted cashews (substitute almonds, pecans, or walnuts as desired)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 heaping teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon fine grey sea salt, then to taste
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional, then to taste

Heat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper

Add the egg whites and nuts to a large bowl and stir to coat evenly. Add the sugars, cinnamon, salt, and cayenne, if using, and stir to coat evenly

Turn nuts out onto to prepared pan and spread them into an even layer

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until very fragrant (do not roast longer than 30 to 33 minutes or the cashews may burn) Coating may appear quite soupy and wet in the center of the tray even when cashews are ready to be pulled from oven. While it may seem they should bake longer so the coating dries out more, trust and believe that it will firm up dramatically as cashews cool

Remove cashews to a cooling rack and allow to cool for 30 minutes (see Note)

When nuts are cool enough to handle break apart into clusters

Serve Cinnamon sugar cashews in a decorative bowl with a sugar or teaspoon so guests can scoop and serve themselves

Leftovers, if there are any, can be stored in airtight containers and will keep for at least 1 month

Note: Extra crispy and crunchy cashews can be achieved by leaving the nuts on the pan, uncovered, at room temperature overnight