One, because these nuts epitomize fall. Sweaters, scarves, boots, PSL’s, crunchy red leaves on the ground… you know. The whole dealio.
And two, because they taste like pumpkin spice, are super crunchy and coated in caramelized sugar heaven. You know, the usual.
And then I made them, stirred them every twenty minutes, pouring my heart and soul into this recipe with painstaking attention to detail.
And then, only then, did I realize after spreading the wet nuts out to dry on a baking sheet, that I forgot to grease my slow cooker.
STICKY SAUCE. STICKY SAUCE EVERYWHERE.
If you’ve never made what is essentially caramel in a hot slow cooker without baking spray, it’s basically hell on earth. And if you’ve never tried soaking said slow cooker liner in hot water and soap, it’s basically impossible to rinse off. So my all-purpose slow cooker just became a candied-nuts-only slow cooker in a matter of three hours. Oops.
And while we’re here, can we talk about the word ‘oops’ for a moment? Lately I’ve seen people spelling it like ‘opps’ and I’m thoroughly confused. ‘Opps’ doesn’t even sound like ‘oops’ does. Oops means there are two O’s – OOps. ‘Opps’ sounds like opportunities, or operations, or like you don’t know how to spell oops.
So there you have it. My tragic story and a spelling lesson all at once. You guys are so lucky to have me, right?
ANYWHO. Let’s talk more about these nuts, shall we?
So the premise is pretty simple for making homemade candied nuts. Simply pour your nuts of choice into a GREASED (!!!) slow cooker and toss with some egg whites and vanilla. In a separate bowl, stir together brown sugar and white sugar along with your spices. For these, I’m using Pumpkin Pie Spice primarily for that warm, hearty, pumpkin-y flavor. Cook on low for three hours, stirring every twenty minutes to coat the nuts in that heartwarming spice and sugar mixture. Then, during the last twenty minutes of cooking, toss in some water – just a little bit – to help create a glaze on these sticky, sensational nuts. And lastly, toss ’em with some peanut M&M’s for color and because chocolate.
The end. The delicious end.
- 2 cups raw almonds
- 2 cups shelled walnuts
- 2 cups pecan halves
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 egg whites
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ¼ cup water
- 1 bag peanut M&M's, optional but recommended
- First and foremost, liberally grease your slow cooker with cooking spray. Place the nuts in the slow cooker and set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the egg whites and vanilla until combined. Drizzle over the nuts in the slow cooker and use a spoon to toss the nuts in the egg white mixture until coated.
- Meanwhile, in a larger bowl, combine the sugars and spices and stir to combine. Pour over the nuts and gently toss to coat.
- Turn the slow cooker on LOW and cook for 3 hours, stirring every 20 minutes. During the last 20 minutes of cook time, drizzle in the water and toss to coat. Once nuts are done, spread onto a foil-lined baking sheet to dry and cool. Sprinkle with M&M's as they cool or after, up to you. Break into clusters and serve.
You guys have to give these nuts a try! Crunchy, sugary, sweet and loaded with delicious pumpkin spice and chocolate, they’ll soon become a new favorite around the holidays!
Have a sweet day!