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These spiced nuts have the perfect blend of heat, salt and sweetness. They’re beautiful to serve and dangerously addictive. I make big batches for the holidays to give away as gifts and pull out when friends stop by for a cup of cheer. They complement any cocktail, especially something bubbly. Feel free to double the recipe, but divide the nuts between two baking sheets—they’ll crisp up better if they roast in a single layer. In Cowgirl Cuisine, I call for a mix of nuts, but feel free to only use Texas pecans. —PD

Paula Disbrowe | Food Editor

1 large egg white
1 tablespoon water
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1¼ teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon cinnamon
8 ounces pecan halves
4 ounces salted cashews
4 ounces roasted almonds

1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

2. Whisk together the egg white, water, sugar, salt and spices in a large mixing bowl. Add the nuts and use a rubber spatula to mix well.

3. Pour the nut mixture onto a rimmed baking sheet. Bake 40 minutes, stirring occasionally with a metal spatula. Reduce the heat to 200 degrees and bake another 30 minutes.

4. Remove the nuts from the oven, use a fork to loosen them from the baking sheet and cool completely. Store in a metal container with a tight-fitting lid; the nuts will last up to 2 months.

Makes about 5 cups.

From Cowgirl Cuisine: Rustic Recipes and Cowgirl Adventures From a Texas Ranch (William Morrow, 2007)