So it seems that I’ve been on a bit of a kick when it comes to homemade snacks lately. This is quite possibly due to the fact that I bought an obscene amount of raw nuts when I was at Trader Joes recently and needed to find a way to use them up. But that’s neither here nor there.
Anyway, back to the snacks. There were the two different versions of trail mix and then of course my new favorite granola. And now I’m adding one more recipe to the pile. But this is a good one. A very good one. These roasted nuts are completely addicting. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
This cocoa roasted version is kind of like the sweet sister to these savory rosemary and thyme nuts I made back during the holidays. Both are dangerously good and are great options for entertaining as they can be made in advance.
But let’s focus on these cocoa espresso roasted nuts for a second. They have a perfectly crunchy coating with just the right balance of cocoa and espresso, nothing too overpowering. Add in a touch of cayenne for just a bit of warmth and you have a chocolatey, but not too sweet treat for any occasion. Such as a lazy Friday night while catching up on your favorite shows.
- 2 egg whites
- 2 cups unsalted raw pecans
- 2 cups unsalted raw walnuts
- ⅔ cup packed light brown sugar
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons espresso powder*
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites until they are white and frothy (I did this with a whisk and some arm power, but you could also use a mixer). Add in the pecans and walnuts and mix until the nuts are all coated with the egg whites.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and cayenne until there are no clumps. Add to the bowl with the nuts and mix until well combined and all of the dry mixture is sticking to the nuts.
- Spread the nuts onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. The nuts should be dry and the cocoa coating should not come off on your fingers if you touch them.
*Espresso powder is an ingredient you can’t usually find at your regular grocery store. You can buy it online or at specialty stores like Sur La Table, Williams and Sonoma, etc.