Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Espresso Glazed Nuts

It took a kitchen mishap to discover this interesting and indulgent snack.  I was making a caramel sauce and became distracted, as I sometimes do.  When I went to toss the ruined concoction alla spazzatura, I noticed how quickly it hardened.  I experimented a bit further and decided it could be incorporated into a light snack.  Less difficult to eat than peanut brittle and ever so slightly bitter from the espresso, these glazed nuts were born.  Serve them with a cheese plate and chutney or an espresso con panna for a light after-dinner snack.  

Mixed nuts (peanuts, cashews & almonds)
Pinch of salt, if needed
3/4 C. Sugar
1/4 C. Water
1 pkg. Instant Espresso powder (for 1 cup of instant coffee)

Pour the salted nut mixture onto a parchment-covered baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, or until fragrant.  Remove and cool. 

In saucepan, combine the sugar and water.  DO NOT STIR.  Swirl the saucepan until the sugar has dissolved.  Bring it to a boil, swirling constantly.  Cover and boil for 2 minutes.  Remove the lid and reduce the heat.  Simmer until the sugar is a deep amber color, swirling occasionally.  Allow it to cool slightly (until manageable - it will be HOT!). 

Sprinkle the nuts with the espresso powder.  Lightly drizzle the caramel sauce over the roasted nuts.  Let coated nuts sit until the caramel mixture has hardened. 

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