Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Do you really want to do that in July in Texas? I’d much rather save my baking for Fall and Winter and that’s what gets us Texans so excited about the cold! We get to don our coats and boots and oven mitts. Ok, not in that order.
So in my kitchen, every November and December, the oven is on a lot. Butter is used by the boxes and sugar is measured out in cups. So far, I’ve baked less than I would have liked. I really have an obsession. Every December around holiday season, I convince myself to go to pastry school. And then the wintry feeling goes away as quickly as it arrives and I’m back to cooking more than baking.
As a new member to French Fridays with Dorie, I baked one of our December picks, the sweet and spicy nuts. Edible gifts are great to give more than to even receive, and spiced nuts make a great gift. I wanted to put an Indian spice twist on the recipe and the sidebar of the recipe mentioned cardamom. I used fresh cardamom as well as an Indian medium chili powder, which I keep in my masala box. I served the nuts at a cookie exchange I hosted and my guests loved them. The sharp heat from the chili powder was an unexpected afterthought to the sweet crunch of the nuts.
I’ve tried the ginger-spiced nuts from the Martha Stewart Hors d’Oeuvres cookbook and I absolutely love them. Now I’m inspired to combine the two recipes or create a masala chai-spiced nut mix. Perfect for the holidays!