I have always been of the mind that the fastest way to ruin a good nut is to coat it in some sort of flavoring. Obviously--as evidenced by the massive selection of candied and spiced nuts on the market--I am in the minority. However, I am sure there are some chocolate lovers out there who feel the same way, albeit about chocolate. Luckily, there are plenty of nonchocolated nuts out there, while there also happen to be plenty of non-nutted chocolates. You see? We can all get along.
With the holiday spirit in mind, I took it upon myself to venture into the world of
ruined flavored nuts. I tried lemon-chili almonds, garlic pistachios, butter toffee peanuts, and even the dreaded chocolate-covered-everything sampler. Then in a flash of insight, I decided that--like most other things--if I made them myself they would taste better and I could become a flavored nut convert.
It was not meant to be. Many batches of nuts went under the spoon for my newfound obsession. Ultimately, all of them failed. They either burned or did not caramelize or the flavoring didn't stick to the nuts. I tried, but deliciousness was simply not attained.
Perhaps I needed this Stove-Top Hand-Crank Nut Roaster from Back to Basics. The hand-cranked arm gently turns nuts while they glaze. It is constructed of heavy-gauge, anodized aluminum, so as to help prevent easy burning. Perhaps most importantly, recipes are included, and ready-made glazes are available. It is selling right now for about $40-$50 on Amazon, but if you are interested, keep your eyes open as I've come across it for less. For me however, I'm going back to the nonsticky variety, keeping it simple with salt and salt alone.