Candied Spiced Nuts Recipe


1 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more if needed
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cayenne or smoked paprika
1 pound (455 grams) raw or roasted nuts (such as almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, walnuts, cashews, or any combination)
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons (30 ml) cold water
1 sprig fresh rosemary, leaves only, left whole or finely chopped


Preheat an oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone liner.

Spread the nuts in a single layer on the baking sheet and roast until aromatic and lightly toasted, 5 to 7 minutes, stirring halfway through. Remove from the oven.

In a small bowl, stir 1/2 teaspoon salt with the cumin, cinnamon, ginger, and cayenne or smoked paprika.

In a large, heavy skillet, stir the sugar with the water and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, without stirring (you can tilt the skillet a bit to distribute the sugar and to swirl it, but do not stir the contents or the syrup will crystallize). Continue to cook until the sugar turns a medium amber color, 6 to 12 minutes, depending on your stove’s exact heat.

Working carefully and quickly, stir in half the spice mixture and all the nuts and combine well. Tip the nuts back out onto the still-lined sheet pan and spread out as evenly as you can with a fork. Immediately sprinkle the nuts with 1/3 of the reserved spice mixture. Bake, stirring and flipping the nuts with a pair of forks every 5 minutes or so to keep the nuts coated in the caramel and breaking up any large clumps, 15 to 20 minutes. Each time you stir the nuts, add 1/3 of the remaining spice mixture. The last time you stir the nuts, add the rosemary and additional sea salt, if desired.

Let the nuts to cool completely on the baking sheet, then break up any remaining large clusters. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.