I made that!

The Ultimate Wintery Nuts

Posted in All Things Pork, I Like Salt Too by brandi on November 8, 2010

First, an announcement.

I’m starting a business!  And not just any business, I’m starting my DREAM business! I’m teaming up with Brandon Pettit, owner of Delancey (were I am the pastry chef) and the super talented Olaiya Land, who runs Olaiya Land Catering and teaches classes in Delancey on closed nights to open up a community kitchen called “The Pantry at Delancey.” We’re blowing out the wall behind Delancey and building an awesome kitchen. Think rustic. Yet urban. Think 16′-long farm table. Jars of pickles and jams lining the walls. The idea is to get people around the table, cooking, learning, and talking. We’ll host family-style dinners, teach hands-on cooking classes with an emphasis on craft, provide locally sourced catering, host community events and begin making the cheese and curing the meats for Delancey. It’s just too much good stuff. I would send you to a website, except it isn’t finished yet. Until it is, you can find us on facebook. So know that while I have slowed down a bit on my blogging, it is only because things are HAPPENING!

Now, about these nuts. They are my new favorite wintertime crack. I developed the recipe for Delancey over the summer, when we were opening a patio and tinkering with the idea of bar snacks. They were quite a hit until the weather turned warm, when their dark spiciness started to look silly next to a fresh tomato salad. So we pulled them for the duration of the warm weather and just this week brought them back. I. love. them. So much that I want to share.

You start with a good mix of nuts. I like almonds, cashews, pistachios and pecans, but you can try any mix you like. Except the pecans are a must. They have a density that fits this kind of candying like peanut butter to jelly. I usually throw in some extra of those, to make up for the ones I end up snacking on.

I made a syrup out of water and sugar and brought that to a boil. I then added the nuts, along with the spice bomb and let them simmer away for a bit.

Then I strained the nuts out of the syrup and roasted them.

Until they were nice and deeply caramelized.

Then began the fun, candying some bacon to throw in the mix. Because what’s the point of spiced nuts without some pork?

I coated bacon with brown sugar and roasted it until the sugar was dark and caramelized.

I tore the bacon into chunks and tossed it with the nuts. And I’ve been munching away since…


2 TBSP vegetable oil

3½ cups sugar

3 cups water

4 cups raw nuts

1 TBSP + 1 tsp salt

2 tsp garam masala

1 tsp cumin

⅛ tsp cinnamon

⅛ tsp allspice

1½ tsp cayenne

12oz sliced bacon

1½ cups brown sugar

– Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

– Coat a baking sheet with the vegetable oil. Set aside.

– Combine the sugar and water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium high and add the nuts, salt and spices. Bring up to simmer and cook for 8 minutes.

– With a slotted spoon, remove nuts from pot, shaking off excess liquid. Spread onto the oiled baking sheet. Reserve the liquid for future batches of nuts.

– Roast in the oven until browned, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

– Lower oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silicon mat. Sprinkle half of the brown sugar onto the silicone mat. Place the bacon onto brown sugar and sprinkle on the remaining brown sugar.

– Roast for about 25 minutes, flipping bacon 3-4 times, every 7-8 minutes. The bacon should look caramelized. Remove from oven and use tongs to lift the bacon onto a clean tray. Cool completely.

– Chop bacon and toss with nuts.

– Taste for salt adjustment.


34 Responses

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  1. Kate said, on November 8, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    My head just exploded with happiness over your combination of bacon and candied nuts! What a sweet-salty, protein-filled snack! I can’t wait to try it.

    What will the name of your culinary adventure be? Is it a kitchen studio, where people can take classes? A series of workshops that provide cured meats and pickles for Delancey? If I want to learn more about learning to make cheese at this place, do I look for updates on this blog or another place? So excited for you!

    Thanks for sharing your stories and recipes.


  2. jen said, on November 8, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    What Kate said. 🙂 Seriously, I am very interested in learning more about your new offerings. I haven’t found a place where I like to take cooking classes yet (I did like the very hands-on nature of the one Culinary Communion class I took) and this sounds like it might fit the bill.


    • brandi said, on November 9, 2010 at 6:54 pm

      I recommend following us on facebook. When we have a website with all the details, that’s where we’ll announce it. Thank you for your interest, I hope I meet you in kitchen this spring!

  3. Sara said, on November 8, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    Congrats!! That is fantastic news. I love Delancy, although I have only had the opportunity to go one time. Looking forward to hearing more about you progress and hopefully taking a class (and seeing that beautiful table) in the future!

  4. Kristin said, on November 8, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    Congratulations! I wish I lived close by so I could visit! I ‘ve never comented before but just wanted to tell you that I read your blog all the time and have made several of your recipes, everything is just wonderful! Best of luck in all you do!

  5. ravennagirls said, on November 8, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    we are HUGE HUGE delancey fans here in our house and this announcement makes me so excited. I hope you guys make quick progress so i can enjoy all the yumminess so so soon.

  6. Bbq Dude said, on November 8, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    Congratulations. As one of your readers that isn’t in town, I’m sad I won’t be able to visit this new venture, but best of luck.

  7. Needles&Bread said, on November 9, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    Oh my, way too delicious for words. Congratulations on the kitchen, it sounds like a fantastic idea. I wish there was something like that around me, I would want to be there all the time learning and absorbing. Wonderful!

  8. Sarah said, on November 9, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    Oh wow, this looks SO GOOD!
    How long do these keep? I don’t think I could stop myself eating all this in one sitting but just in case I want to give some away for Christmas…

    • brandi said, on November 9, 2010 at 6:46 pm

      The nuts themselves will last for a couple of weeks. The bacon though, I would only use that if they’re going to eaten in the next 12 hours.

      • Sarah said, on November 9, 2010 at 6:49 pm

        Yeah, I thought that’d be the case. Still, I’m sure the nuts would still be super delicious on their own.

  9. Holly said, on November 9, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    You have taken my two favorite appetizers and combined them into one sinfully delicious snack. I am making these this weekend. Thanks for the recipe!

    We also share the same DREAM JOB!!! I want to do the exact same thing in San Diego, Ca. Congrats!!! Can’t wait to see the amazing stuff you guys come up with.

  10. Redefining Less said, on November 10, 2010 at 10:38 am

    This looks great but I have a question. I have a chestnut tree in my yard and I’ve been picking up these little things for a week now and I don’t have a clue what to do with them. Do you have any suggestions?

  11. Kasey said, on November 10, 2010 at 10:55 am

    That is SO cool! Just liked you on Facebook and can’t wait to read about developments. And, yum, I love nuts!

  12. leigh said, on November 10, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    Yum and awesome. Wished I lived in a different city.

  13. Alli said, on November 10, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    Oh wow…great looking recipe and The Pantry and Delancey sounds super cool!

  14. Susan said, on November 12, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    I made these nuts (without the bacon because I will giving them to someone who keeps kosher) this afternoon. I cannot stop eating them. Excellent recipe and quite simple to prepare. I would advise to watch closely while they are roasting. Mine were done in 11 minutes…a few more seconds and the pistachios would have burned.

    Thanks so much for a fabulous recipe and a great site.

  15. Marie said, on November 13, 2010 at 10:58 am

    Hi Brandi – I met you last Friday (knitting) and I’ve just checked out your blog, congratulations on your new adventure! I’m excited to follow along on your new project and try some of the ideas from your blog. Hope to see you in the future and hear how things are coming along!

    • brandi said, on November 13, 2010 at 12:44 pm

      Hi! Thanks for checking my site out! Hopefully Merriss will throw another knitting party soon and I’ll see you there.

  16. Beth Anne said, on November 16, 2010 at 11:08 am

    I love these! I make something similar, myself! I would love to see you enter it in The Bacon Games over at http://thebacongames.blogspot.com
    Deadline for entry is this friday!

  17. linda said, on November 18, 2010 at 6:20 am

    what a wonderful opportunity to be so very creative & share with the community!
    kudos to all of you!
    great nut recipe…yum!

  18. Sara said, on November 18, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    I’m so excited for you and your new biz. I don’t live in Seattle, used to live in PT, but from what i see on your blog it is going to be a big success. keep us posted online it is so inspirational on all fronts!

  19. yossy said, on November 20, 2010 at 11:20 am

    I wish I still lived in Seattle so I could take advantage of those classes. Those nuts look awesome, I will have to give them a try for the holidays!

  20. LJ Hall said, on November 20, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    These nuts are so very delicious – I made a batch today and think I will give away jars for Christmas presents. I do have a question though – I live in Houston and it is very humid here. Is there a way to “dry” them out some so they don’t stick together? I can’t really cook them any more as they would burn. Any suggestions?

    • brandi said, on November 20, 2010 at 9:18 pm

      I’m so glad you like them! Try roasting them at a lower temperature. That should allow you to cook them longer and get them a bit drier.

  21. Tiffany said, on November 22, 2010 at 2:19 am

    This looks so yummy!!!!!!!!!!!!



  22. Lilli said, on December 2, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    made this, ate this! so delicious. I’m a big fan of the nuts, but the bacon is where the money is. Who knew anything in the world could be so overwhelmingly delightful? My (vegetarian) aunties demand more, and I now dream vividly about ice cream with a caramel sauce made from the bacon drippings.

  23. Dana said, on December 6, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    Spiced nuts with candied bacon sounds like quite a treat!

  24. Paulitaz said, on December 31, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    Thanks so much for this recipe! It is fantastic! I’ve made it 4 times already. Three batches for gifts and one batch just for my husband because I couldn’t get the bowl out of his hands!

  25. Shim Farm said, on January 23, 2011 at 5:08 am

    I might be late to the party, but oh my freakin’ dog…that looks so good. You had me at “wintertime crack”. It’s -21C here today, and this was just what I needed to warm home and hearts. And the bacon? Brilliant! I am salivating already.

  26. miss colton said, on January 27, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    Your pantry ideas sounds a-may-zing! I wish I lived in Seattle to experience it- love the family-style dinners where people can connect over tasty treats.

    I misread the title, thinking I saw “Winery” nuts. Inspired, I grabbed a glass of Pinot Noir, and pondered making these over the weekend for my Travelling Wine Club. Wintery- Winery, same diff right 🙂

  27. Beverly Blankenship said, on March 22, 2011 at 6:45 am

    Hi Brandi,
    Just awesome to read your recipes and see the photos! These nuts make me hungry early in the morning!
    Some day looking forward to coming to Seattle to see all that you are doing!
    Beverly Blankenship

  28. Marie said, on April 18, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    Holy crap!

  29. Hadley Galbraith said, on December 5, 2011 at 7:43 am

    I just made these a couple of days ago, and they were well-liked at two different pot-lucks. I used roasted, unsalted nuts, and I’m not certain if that was the cause of this, but they did not take the full roasting time to get brown. I guess I was kind of nervous, having never candied anything before, that if I didn’t roast them the full time they would be really sticky, but I pulled them out a little early and when they cooled, they were pretty much fine. I refrigerated them, and felt like that helped keep them loose and also take away a little of the greasy feel my bacon gave them. Yum-o!

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