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6 easy, 20-minute appetizers

By: Enrique Gili on Jan. 14, 2014, 4:13 p.m.
Spicy Toasted Nuts

Photo: Enrique Gili

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Spicy Toasted Nuts

Butter and sugar plus spice produce a salty, crunchy, piquant nut combo that’s hard to put down. These savory snacks cry out for a margarita.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Total time: 20 minutes plus cooling

Yield: Serves 4 to 6

Spicy Toasted Nuts


  • 2 cups unsalted mixed nuts, about 12 oz.
  • 2 oz. white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili lime powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle puree, or spicy BBQ sauce
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place nuts in single layer on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cook for 7 to minutes on center rack, or until aromatic.
  3. Combine dry ingredients in small mixing bowl, including sugar, salt, chili lime, cinnamon, curry and cumin. Stir until well blended, about 30 seconds.
  4. In a large skillet melt butter and chipotle puree, until butter begins to froth about 2 minutes. Reduce heat. Remove nuts from oven and add to skillet. Add spice mix to pan in batches while stirring nuts to coat evenly and prevent burning. After two to threes minutes sugar will congeal and melt. Remove nuts from skillet. Allow nuts to cool before serving.