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The Ultimate Party Snack: Sweet-and-Hot Nuts

Surprise! You can make zesty mixed nuts in the slow cooker! The secret to this make-ahead party snack is the sweet and spicy blend of sugar, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and cayenne pepper.

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These slow-cook sweetened hot nuts are a blend of toasted nuts and zesty spices resulting in a snack mix that's highly addictive. It's easy to toast nuts. First, add one cup each of whole cashews, whole almonds and pecan halves to a shallow baking tray. Add a cup of hazelnut to a separate tray while need to remove their papery skin after roasting. Spread the nuts in a single layer in the pan. Bake them at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until they turn gold and brown. This takes 10-15 minutes. Stir the nuts once or twice during the baking so that they toast evenly. Keep a close eye on the nuts as they can burn easily. To remove the papery skins from the toasted hazelnuts, just rub off the skins with a clean dish towel. Add all the toasted nuts to a 2-3 1/2 quarts slow cooker. Next, measure 1/2 cup of sugar into a small bowl and add 1/3 cup of melted butter, one teaspoon of ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves and 1/4 teaspoon of Cayenne pepper. Stir the mixture well. Add it to the nuts in the slow cooker and stir it well to coat the nuts with the sugar and spices. Then cover and cook the nuts on low for one hour. Now stir them then cover and continue cooking on low for another hour. Butter a foil-lined baking sheet. Transfer the nuts to the try and spread them out to cook for an hour. The nuts may appear sort after cooking but they'll crisp off as they cool. Sweet and hot nuts can be stored in a tightly covered container for up to 3 weeks making them a perfect gift for the holidays.