I have two words for you regarding this recipe: Double it. I'm in love with the simplicity of this recipe and by how much these resemble the cinnamon almonds that you find in the malls this time of year. This recipe is the perfect holiday snack: Quick to make and completely addicting.
In the bowl above you will see a variety of spices. I used cinnamon, Chinese five-spice powder and a pinch of cayenne. The original recipe called for chili powder, but I wasn't sure about that spice mixed with sugar. But I'm more curious than skeptical about the combination, so I'll be trying it with my next batch(es).
Part of the greatness of this recipe is its flexibility. The nuts are a blank canvas; you can mix together any spice and/or herb mixture you want. I'm a big fan of aromatic spices and the five-spice powder is a perfect choice for the holidays with hints of ginger and anise. I can't take the credit for this brilliant idea, though. It was taken from Dorie's bonne idée in the sidebar of Around My French Table. These are suggestions from the author for variations on the recipe. So really, you're getting at least double the recipes with this book. I love this feature of the cookbook. There's so much inspiration at your fingertips.
This is another recipe I'll be using often and sharing with friends and family. What could be a more perfect gift than these sparkling, spicy and sweet nuts? I know I would be overjoyed to see these in my stocking on Christmas Eve, which was when my family always exchanged presents. It's a great tradition. I now direct you to French Fridays with Dorie, where you can see what everyone else chose to make. I'm looking forward to seeing what flavor combinations the others picked for their Sweet and Spicy Cocktail Nuts.