December 20, 2007

Sweet & Spicy Peanuts

2 cups unsalted, roasted peanuts
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 tablespoon chipotle chile powder
1 1/2 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
1 teaspoon chili powder

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 250. Toss all ingredients together except for the salt. Make sure the nuts are evenly coated. Arrange in a single layer on one of the baking sheet and bake 25-35 minutes, or until the peanuts look mostly dry, stirring every 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with salt and allow to cool on the remaining lined baking sheet.

Tip: Set the oven timer for 5 minutes, stir the nuts. I (carefully!) reached in the oven and tossed them with a spatula then set the timer again until 30 or so minutes were up.

My thoughts:
I made these for our neighbors who, by the wafting scent of their Old Bay redolent crab feasts they host each year, like things a little bit spicy. The sugar provides a nice sweet component and helps the spices stick to the nuts. This was Matt's second favorite of the 6 kinds of nuts I made this year. I have to admit, I only had a couple (after a marathon day of nut flavoring I was in nut overload) but they were very good, just the perfect middle ground between sweet and spicy. The five spice powder was a great idea if I do say myself, it gave a complex flavor to the nuts without having to measure tiny amounts of spices.