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12 Days of Christmas: Sweet and Spicy Mixed Nuts

For the twelve days leading up to Christmas, Patch brings you a new holiday treat recipe and ideas for gift giving.

These sweet and spicy nuts are a fun change-of-pace in a season full of baked goods. This recipe—a lightly sweet, mildly spicy blend of toasted pecans, cashews and almonds—is adapted, slightly, from Martha Stewart. The benefit of her recipe is that instead of using high calorie oil to make the spices stick to the nuts, an egg white provides the sticky factor.

I packaged mine in a pint-sized mason jar. Cut a square piece of fabric or paper that's about four inches larger in length and width than the jar top (you can cut it later if it's too large). Screw the lid on, place fabric over top, and secure with ribbon or twine. Add a gift tag, and your gift is ready to go!

Sweet and Spicy Mixed Nuts (adapted from Martha Stewart)

1 egg white
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
¼ tsp. allspice
1 tsp. salt
¼ c. sugar
2 ½ c. mixed nuts (I used 1 c. pecans, ¾ c. cashews, ¾ c. almonds)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Beat egg white until soft and foamy. Combine all remaining ingredients except nuts; whisk ingredients into egg white. Stir in nuts until well coated, then spread mixture in a single layer onto an ungreased baking pan.

Bake pecans for 15 minutes, then remove from oven. Using a metal spatula, toss, stir, and separate nuts. Reduce oven to 250 degrees and return nuts to bake until medium brown, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven; toss, and stir again. Place baking pan on wire rack to cool (nuts will crisp as they cool). Break up any nuts that stick together, then store in an airtight container, at room temperature, up to 2 weeks.

Tomorrow, Patch brings you a classic holiday recipe for the last installment of 12 Days of Christmas: sugar cookies with cream cheese frosting.

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