This is one of those recipes that doesn’t require any grand explanation or background. It is as basic as the recipe title sounds and it packs a pleasant, sweet and spicy flavor punch. You will find yourself thinking about these often!
These Sweet and Spicy Maple Nuts are a perfect snack food, but also a wonderful add to top off your salad or yogurt!
I first made these about 8 years ago, with another recipe in mind. I like a good bit of crunchy “stuff” in my salads, so I made these to go on my salad instead of croutons. While these taste awesome as a topping or in other dishes, I found myself thinking of these without any intention of making anything else to go with them. I just wanted a handful to as as a snack.
I began making these Sweet and Spicy Maple Nuts regularly and keeping them in an airtight container. They became one of my favorite snack foods while watching TV or my regular choice for a road trip snack food. Because these are so basic, feel free to change it up a bit by making different choices in nuts. I like walnuts and cashews, but pecans and macadamia nuts are a nice alternative. I often add pumpkin seeds for extra texture and crunch. Sometimes I add more cayenne for spicier nuts and other times I am hankering for more sweet, so I amp up the maple syrup.
Sweet and Spicy Maple Nuts are covered in maple syrup, butter and cayenne pepper, for a perfect balance of sweet and heat! They are then baked to a toasty goodness you just can resist!!
These are in my quick and easy category of recipes. I typically line a baking sheet with foil, then spray that foil with cooking spray or very lightly grease it with a paper towel to make sure the nuts don’t stick to the foil. Once the nuts are done toasting, I can then transfer them to a bowl and roll up the foil and toss it in the trash without having to wash the baking pan at all!
To make these Sweet and Spicy Maple Nuts, you will first preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place a piece of foil onto a cookie sheet and spray with non-stick spray. In a sauce pan, add the maple syrup, butter, salt and cayenne pepper. Place the sauce pan over medium heat to melt the butter and dissolve the salt and cayenne pepper. You are not going to boil this liquid. When the maple syrups mixture just starts to bubble around the edges, remove it from heat.
You are then going to place the nuts in a bowl and pour the hot maple syrup mixture over the top of the nuts and toss to coat all the nuts. Once the nuts are coated, dump them onto the prepared foil, making sure to spread out into a single layer and then place this in the oven.
Sweet and Spicy Maple Nuts
- 3 cups raw, unsalted, walnuts
- 3 cups raw, unsalted, cashews
- 5 tbsp butter
- 3/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper (add more if you like heat)
- 2 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place foil on a baking sheet and grease or spray with non-stick spray (the nuts will stick if you don't).
- Place nuts in a bowl.
- Place maple syrup, butter, cayenne and salt in a small sauce pan and heat to melt butter and it just begins to bubble around the edges. Do not boil this liquid. It will thicken and harden after cooked on the nuts.
- Pour hot maple syrup over the nuts, tossing to coat all nuts and then place into the oven for 7 minutes. When the timer goes off, carefully toss the nuts and syrup with a rubber spatula, spread back out in a single layer and cook for another 7 minutes.
- When the timer goes off again (total of 14 minutes) toss again and spread back out into a single layer. Then let the nuts sit on the baking sheet, on the counter for 2-3 minutes and then toss for the final time. Let the baking sheet sit and cool completely.
- Take nuts off foil and place in an airtight container to store. Enjoy!
Set a timer for 7 minutes and when the timer goes off, with a rubber spatula, toss the nuts and sauce, spreading back into a single layer and put back into the oven for 7 more minutes. After the timer goes off again, toss the nuts carefully and then let the baking pan of nuts sit for a few minutes, then toss again and let them sit on the counter to cool and the sauce to harden. Once they have hardened, put them in an airtight container. You can leave this on the counter to enjoy all week, if they last that long!
When you make these Sweet and Spicy Maple Nuts, you can substitute honey for the maple syrup and chipotle for the cayenne. However you make them, make them your own and you will make them often! Enjoy friends!!