Items you will need
- Large cookie sheet or shallow baking pan
- Parchment paper or cooking spray
- Raw or roasted nuts
- Egg white
- 1-2 tablespoons water or other liquid
- Spices, salt and sugar for seasoning
- Slotted spoon
There seems little point in creating delicious spiced nuts if all the seasonings wind up in the bottom of the serving dish. Adding a quick, simple egg-white wash to your recipe can make the difference between eating something scrumptious and wondering whether it might have been. This flavorless culinary adhesive also puts a shiny coat on pie and bread crusts and keeps nuts or seeds secure on your homemade rolls.
Cover a baking pan with parchment paper or a thin coating of cooking spray. Choose a pan that is large enough to accommodate nuts in a single or thin layer to facilitate toasting. Divide nuts into two batches if necessary.
Stir an egg white together with 1 to 2 tablespoons of water until fully blended and slightly foamy. If your recipe calls for liquid seasonings, add them now and stir to incorporate.
Toss nuts in the egg wash, and scoop them out with a slotted spoon to drain.
Spread nuts in a thin even layer across the prepared baking pan.
Bake in a slow oven between 250 and 300 degrees Fahrenheit. This will dry and set the egg wash without burning the nuts. Recipes vary on both time and temperature, from roughly an hour at 250 degrees to 30 minutes at 300 degrees.
Check roasting nuts frequently, at least every 7 to 10 minutes during baking and more frequently toward the end. Stir them so that all surfaces are exposed to drying heat and the effects of oven hot spots are minimized. Remove the pan promptly as soon as nuts are done, to prevent burning, which can happen very suddenly.
Some good spice combinations include both salt and sweetening, which brings out maximum flavor from the nuts. Try sugar, cinnamon, allspice, ginger and a pinch of salt for sweet spicing. Chili powder or curry powder becomes even spicier if you stir a pinch each of sugar and salt into the dry coating or a teaspoon each of honey and vanilla into the egg wash. Flavor the egg wash with a pepper sauce or a dash of balsamic vinegar, then add a mix of sugar, salt and aromatic herbs for spicy heat.
Tossing nuts with a little oil or melted butter is another way to help seasonings adhere, but you may not want the added fat.