Easy New York-style candied nuts are a perfect appetizer for your next New York themed party!
The first year that Tim and I were married, we took a trip to New York City just before Christmas. It is one of the more romantic trips we've taken in our almost 20 years of marriage.
Out of all the fun memories from that trip, one item really sticks out: Buying bags of fresh, hot candied nuts from a nut cart on the sidewalk.
When I hosted a New York themed book club party recently, I knew those famous New York candied nuts had to be on the menu!
The Story Behind the Nuts
We didn't do anything particularly amazing on our first trip to New York, we just took in the typical tourist sights:
- Saw the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center
- Visited the Empire State Building
- Toured the Metropolitan Museum of Art
How cute were we all those years ago?! Newlyweds in New York for Christmas.
I also remember Tim being such a wonderful sport and standing in line at the local Barnes & Noble to grab the latest Harry Potter book release. We got some snacks to take back to our hotel room and he just laughed while I dove headfirst into reading the book that very night.
Yep, that's the kind of girl my guy married -- spending a weekend in New York City with her brand-new husband and she's reading Harry Potter with a big bag of candied nuts from a local street cart.
But those candied nuts. I mean c'mon. Those are worth the trip to New York all on their own, aren't they??
Now that we're in the busy parenting stage of life, the closest I'm getting to the Big Apple is these books about New York City for kids.
These candied nuts have a spicy sweet flavor that is utterly addictive. All you need to make them is:
- Pecan halves
- An egg white
- Brown sugar
How to Bake the Nuts
The real trick to these candied nuts is the crunchy coating.
Most candied nuts are just tossed in a brown sugar mix with spices but to get that extra thick crunch, you need a secret ingredient.
Step 1: Toss Pecans in Egg White
That's right! I know it sounds so weird, but that egg white will coat the nuts and give just the right amount of thickness to the seasoning.
Step 2: Mix the Sugar Coating
The candied nuts from the New York nut carts are sweet but not overly so. All I know is that you can never eat just one. The trick to ensure they are totally addictive is to add just a pinch of cayenne to the mix. This keeps them from being too-sweet but never so spicy that your kids wouldn't like them.
Step 3: Toss and Bake
Pour the sugar mixture over the egg white-coated pecans and use a spoon to toss them together. Spread them in an even layer on the baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes. You'll want to toss them 20 minutes in to make sure they cook evenly and don't burn.
That's it! Easy-peasy candied nuts for your party with just about 5 minutes of prep time.
New York Themed Party Foods
Don't miss the entire party menu I pulled together with simple New York classic recipes that are easy to make at home. It would be just perfect for a book club or romantic night in for Valentine's Day. Get all the NY recipes here.
- 1 egg white
- 12 - 16 oz. pecan halves
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 300°F.
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, add egg white and whisk it briefly with a fork. Add the pecans to the bowl and use the fork to gently toss to coat.
- In a small bowl, add together the two sugars and the seasonings. Use a fork to toss them together.
- Pour the sugar mixture over the nuts and use your fork to toss to coat. Spread them evenly on the prepared baking sheet and spread out into a single layer.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Gently toss the nuts on the sheet and spread into a single layer again. Bake for an additional 20 minutes.
- Let the nuts cool on the cookie sheet. Once cooled, break them up and place them in your serving bowl.
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