Sweet, Salt & Spice Walnuts

Sweet, Salt & Spice Walnuts

Ras el hanout means “top of the shop” in Morocco and every spice shop takes great pride in making their own blend.  You can buy it ready-made or make it yourself in minutes.  Use ras el hanout to spice up toasted walnuts for a great hors d‘oeuvre served with drinks, or add them to salads for crunch and bold flavors. 

Ingredients

For the Nuts:

  • 2 cups California walnuts
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons ras el hanout (store-bought, or recipe follows)
  • Large pinch cayenne
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons kosher salt 
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water

For the Ras el Hanout:

  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon mace
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. If making the Ras el Hanout: Place all of the spices together in a bowl and mix together.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°F. Place the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 5 minutes. 
  3. Over medium heat, in a saucepan, melt the butter.  Add the ras el hanout, cayenne, salt, brown sugar and water.  Stir until the sugar is melted, the mixture bubbles and looks foamy on top.  Toss the warm walnuts with the butter mixture until thoroughly coated.  Place in a single layer on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet.  Bake in the oven for 5 minutes.  With a spoon, toss the walnuts.  Return to the oven for 5 minutes. 
  4. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.  Break up the walnuts if they have stuck together.