Sweet & Spicy Coated Nuts: Last Minute Homemade Christmas or New Year's Treat

December 23, 2021

 Today I'm sharing Country Living magazine's December 2020 Sweet & Spicy Coated Nuts recipe.

penny candy jar filled with sweet spicy nut mix

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I knew when I saw this recipe last year around Christmas time that I would some day be making it as a Christmas gift for my husband. I'm old school, so I ripped the recipe right out of the magazine and filed it away in my Christmas 2021 file folder. Yes, I keep files like that. And I'm glad I do, so that this delicious and fun recipe did not get lost.

This recipe is super easy and would be great to make with your kids or grandkids -- for Christmas, New Year's or any time you'd like to make a special treat for the ones you love.

I will provide a direct link to Country Living's recipe at the bottom of this post, but first I'd like to share with you how I made the recipe my own.


Yields 10 cups


cashews pecans almonds cinnamon salt sugar

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
large egg whites*(not shown)

*egg separator comes in handy


1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine cashews, pecans, and almonds in a bowl.

three mixing bowls eggs nuts sugar cinnamon

2. Whisk together sugar, cinnamon, cayenne, and salt in a second bowl. Whisk together egg whites and 2 tablespoons water in a third bowl until thick and frothy, about 1 minute. Add egg white mixture to nuts and stir until coated. 

NOTE: If you really like things spicy, I would add additional cayenne. While I found it to be a bit spicy with the 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne, in hindsight I should have added more since this house loves truly spicy treats -- the hotter the better!

But if you're not sure, just go with the original recipe. Better safe than sorry.

large mixing bowl with nut mixture and spoon

Lastly, add sugar mixture and stir -- really well -- until coated. (Be sure to use a big bowl for this so you have enough room to really mix things up! It will take a bit of elbow grease.) 

two baking trays sweet spicy coated nuts

Divide nuts among prepared baking sheets, and spread in a single layer. You can see here that this recipe makes a lot of nut mix! These are my largest baking trays.

3. Bake, stirring and rotating pans halfway through, until golden brown and very fragrant, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely on baking sheets. Store at room temperature in an airtight container up to 2 weeks.

NOTE: I was surprised at how liquidy the mixture was when I was pouring it out of the bowl and into the pans. Also, after cooling, you'll have to break up the mix with your hands (really sticky!) or a spoon or other utensil since it all stuck together kind of like peanut brittle. 

So you can break it all up into either large or small chunks, whichever you prefer. I chose smaller pieces so that it would fit in my candy jar.  

Before making it I picked up an adorable plastic jar with a lid from Dollar Tree that reminded me of those old-fashioned penny candy jars. And believe me, if I had noticed how much this recipe really makes (10 cups!) I would have bought three! (Luckily, I had some Christmas tupperware-like tubs on hand for the overflow!) 

It might even be a nice treat to leave out for Santa on Christmas Eve!

candy jar red ticking ribbon Merry gift tag

I had fun decorating the jar with red and white ticking ribbon and a pretty Christmas gift tag from Dollar Tree. 

festive nut mix candy jar

pine cones holiday nut mix plastic candy jar

So overall I was really pleased with how it turned out. I thought it was tasty, and more importantly, my husband did, too!

The original Country Living magazine Sweet & Spicy Coated Nuts recipe can be found online. 

Well, that's it for today, friends! 

I hope you've enjoyed reading about my

 Sweet & Spicy Coated Nuts

 and that I've inspired you in some way. 

Don't Forget To Pin It!  

sweet spicy nut mix candy jar red ribbon

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Leave a Comment!

My thrift store addiction said...

What a fun gift! I love sweet and salty--looks yummy!

Junkchiccottage said...

I love sweet and salty together and these look so yummy. Love the jars you have this in too. Happy New Year. xoxo

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