Saturday, January 21, 2017

Vanilla Stout Glazed Nuts

As a nut-munching family, we always have a jar (or three) of various varieties on hand. Most of them are consumed by the "grown ups" (rather than the grown-up kids) in front of the TV as part of snack mixes, or baked into bread and muffins. This past holiday season, though, I found myself with a glut of peanuts and couldn't get the idea to make real-deal "beer nuts" to tuck in my gift baskets. Research gleaned me several options, but I was most intrigued by two I saw that actually contained beer and were not simply designed to be eaten with a drafty one.

Vanilla Stout Glazed Nuts

Of course I couldn't resist doing both - after all, we did have a lot of nuts to use, and there was no point in me cracking open a tall boy to only use part of it (I don't drink). So, my choice boiled down to which one to make first, and I settled on this sticky, bitter-sweet vanilla-scented version of glazed nuts. Raw peanuts slowly simmer away in a vanilla stout-sugar syrup, get a hit of more vanilla and a dash of salt, then slowly bake to perfection. When they came out of the oven, they look like mahogany beads, dark and shiny. Not only were they beautiful, but the house smelled divine the whole time!

Despite my warnings about hot sugar, my mom snuck a few off the tray as they were cooling and declared them delicious. Once cooled, another taste test - even better, laced through and through with the stout and sugar without being cloying. If I had any leftovers, I'd have tried to make butter with them too. Now that would be a breakfast of champions!

Vanilla Stout Glazed Nuts
Makes ~2 cups, 8 servings
2 cups unsalted raw peanuts
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ cup Guinness (or other stout)
½ tsp vanilla
¼ tsp kosher salt
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat.
  2. Add the peanuts, sugar, beer and salt to a medium-sized pot and heat on medium-high, stirring until mixture comes to a boil.
  3. Once it comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and stir until the syrup has almost dissolved (about 10 minutes).
  4. Remove pot from the heat and stir in vanilla.
  5. Spoon nuts onto the prepared baking sheet and spread with a rubber spatula.
  6. Place the tray in the oven and cook for 10 minutes. Remove tray and stir the nuts on the tray. Place tray back in oven and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
  7. Remove the nuts from the oven and cool on tray. Separate the nuts and store in an airtight container.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 237.6
Total Fat: 14.0 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 36.5 mg
Total Carbs: 25.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.0 g
Protein: 7.1 g

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