Cocoa Nuts with Fleur de Sel

This recipe from the cookbook, Nuts in the Kitchen by Susan Herrman Loomis.

 

 Ingredients:

  • 3 cups raw mixed nuts
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 1 tablespoon aromatic mild honey
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon hot paprika
  • Several grinds of black pepper, preferably Tellicherry
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa nibs*
  • 1 generous teaspoon Fleur de Sel

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Spread the nuts in a jelly roll pan and bake until they begin to smell toasty and golden, about 10 minutes.
  2. While the nuts are toasting, heat the butter with the honey and brown sugar over low heat in a heavy saucepan large enough to hold the nuts, stirring so that the sugar dissolves. Whisk in the cocoa powder, cinnamon, hot paprika and pepper. Immediately remove from the heat.
  3. Add the lightly toasted nuts to the honey mixture, with the cocoa nibs, if using. Mix them gently but thoroughly, using a rubber spatula, until the nuts are coated wit the honey mixture and the cocoa nibs are thoroughly incorporated. Fold in the Fleur de Sel.
  4. Spread the nuts evenly in one layer in the pan and return them to the oven. Bake, stirring once or twice, until the nuts are golden and smell toasty, and the glaze is mostly dried and adhering to them, 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
  5. Serve nuts immediately or store for up to 1 week in airtight container

Note: If you cannot find cocoa nibs, don't be concerned.  They are a lovely addition, but the nuts are exquisite without them. Move past the nuts' over-roasted appearance, which comes from the cocoa, and get to the heart of the matter. You will understand well and truly that beauty is only skin-deep.

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