09 February 2010

Spiced Almonds Based on the Gramercy Tavern's Mix

This Spiced Nut mix was adapted from the Gramercy Tavern recipe for mixed nuts, via the blog Gluten-Free Guide. At the Gramercy, this spicy and sweet mix serve as the perfect bar snack, keeping you consistently thirsty for more Manhattans and fooling you into thinking you've eaten more than a handful of nuts for dinner. At home, once the hangover has cleared, we've made them to hand out as Christmas gifts.

In the real recipe, there are a variety of nuts. We just used almonds, and you shouldn't let the high-price of pecans make you spend a fortune on making some yourself. The spice ratios can be altered however you like, but the key to making this mix work is the cumin and cayenne, which give them an almost Indian flavor. The Gluten-Free Guide has the exact measurements, but below is a more casual approach. The key note is to not overdo any one spice so that they all can stand out.

Cook up some simple syrup (2 cups sugar to every cup water) and combine with corn syrup, enough to coat the nuts. You can also use maple syrup or honey if you want to add another flavor. Once the nuts was sugar-coated and sticky, toss them with salt, cinnamon, cumin, cloves, cayenne, and nutmeg. Spread evenly on a baking sheet and toast for 15 minutes, turning the pan every five minutes.

If you've done it right, every bite of the final mix will taste different. Some are very sweet, some boast that comforting cinnamon-clove flavor, and some will knock you out with spiciness. They are an ideal bar snack, but be sure to give them to people with adventurous tastebuds.

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