When Britt first mentioned jalapenos as this week’s challenged, I had a wide range of feelings much like the stages of grieving. First was shock and denial (can she be serious?! what am I supposed to do with jalapenos on a baking blog?).
Next came pain (when I got the oils from the jalapenos in my eye), then anger (F*&%#$ jalapeno in my EYE!), depression (okay not really, just tears from JALAPENO IN MY EYE).
Finally, when all seemed lost, things got better. This recipe is actually delicious. I’m not a verklempt mess covered in cocoa and spices for no reason. I actually LOVE jalapenos in this recipe, and Britt is a GENIUS!
Jalapeno Naughty Nuts
(Based on a recipe by some famous dude who uses the word BAM a lot)
1 or 2 jalapenos, minced very finely (depending on your heat preference)
2 tbspn of butter
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1/2 tspn each of the following spices: cinnamon, chili powder, allspice, smoked paprika and cumin (add more or less to your liking)
1 tspn of kosher salt
2 cups of raw nuts (I used walnuts, cashews and pecans)
1 tbspn of unsweetened cocoa powder (leftover from the Beeramisu)
1. Prepare baking sheet with foil for drying nuts; set aside.
2. Heat nuts in a dry skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until they are toasted (about 5-8 minutes) depending on the heat of your stove. Set aside after they are toasted to your liking. (Note: cashews tend to burn/cook more quickly due to their high fat content).
3. Add the butter, sugar, spices, jalapenos and salt to the hot skillet and cook, stirring, until a glaze forms and the sugar is dissolved (a couple of minutes).
4. Return the nuts to the skillet and toss to combine with the glaze. Cook for another 3-4 minutes or until all the nuts are completely glazed and golden brown.
5. Remove from the heat and transfer to the baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, separating with a fork. Let rest until cooled and the glaze has hardened about 10 minutes.
6. Take about half of the nuts and place them in a zip-lock bag with the cocoa. Shake until the nuts are completely covered.
7. Mix the nuts from the zip-lock bag and the foiled-pan and place into an airtight container.
The mixture of sweet, salty, spicy AND cocoa was yummy. Good for a football-filled afternoon or in our case, a trip to Santa Rosa for a bike ride. I think I will resurrect this recipe around the holidays and make them as gifts, packaged in cute little ball jars. This would also be incredible as a topping with a Mexican-chocolate brownie and vanilla ice cream (or horchata ice cream?)
Challenge complete. Your move, B!