Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Sugar-Free Spiced Nuts

Spiced nuts are a common theme in many ice cream books. Humphry Slocombe uses “Frosted Peanuts,” which are peanuts coated with sugar, but no spice. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams has recipes for “Honey Nut / Blackstrap Pralines.” Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream uses “Candied Hazelnuts” in their ice creams. David Lebovitz in his book, “The Perfect Scoop,” includes a recipe for “Pralined Almonds.” The combinations are limitless!1

These recipes typically use some combination of sugar, egg white, spice, and nuts. (Many omit the egg white since melted sugar makes an effective coating on its own.) The recipe below uses cinnamon as the lone spice, but feel free to swap in whatever tickles your fancy. Some spice ideas:
  • Cinnamon
  • Cocoa powder
  • Pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, and mace)
  • Chinese five spice (cinnamon, cloves, fennel seed, star anise, and szechuan peppercorns)
  • Salt, cumin, cayenne, cinnamon, and orange peel
  • Garam masala (cumin, coriander, cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg)
It took a while to get the ingredient proportions just right. I’m using brown sugar flavoring since most spiced nut recipes use some brown sugar. If you don’t have it or simply don’t want to use it, substitute with more vanilla extract or some other liquid flavoring. I use granular Splenda since it will provide contrast from the erythritol and the little bit of maltodextrin in it should improve the coating’s texture. I also use Truvia since its granules are coarser and it tastes different than pure erythritol. I chose to roast the nuts in an oven low and slow. They probably can be cooked on the stove top in a pan or at a higher temperature for less time, but I feel there’s less chance of burning this way.
  1. Yes, there are a finite number of spices and types of nuts/legumes, so it’s not truly limitless you humorless pedantic twit.


1 (33 g) large egg white
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon brown sugar flavoring
½ teaspoon salt
14 drops EZ-Sweetz
16 oz. (454 g) whole raw nuts
¾ cup (96 g) powdered erythritol
2 tablespoons Splenda
2 tablespoons Truvia
4 tablespoons cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 250 °F. Beat egg white, vanilla, brown sugar flavoring, salt, and EZ-Sweetz with an electric mixer until frothy and slightly stiff.

    Stiff egg white.

  2. Stir in the nuts with a silicone spatula until evenly coated.

    Almonds in egg white mixture.

    Add in powdered erythritol and stir to coat. Watch out of liquid pooled at the bottom of the bowl. Make sure all the erythritol is wet.

    Added erythritol in mix.

  3. In another bowl, mix Splenda, Truvia, and cinnamon until well blended.

    Granular sweeteners and spices.

    Add to nuts and stir to coat.

    Added granular sweetener and spice.

  4. Place nuts on a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat. Spread them out best you can. Separate any stuck together nuts and coat with any leftover sweetened spice.

    Spiced nuts on baking sheet.

  5. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Do not stir while baking since that may damage the coating. Let cool. Nuts may still be warm, but do not touch until dry. Break apart stuck together nuts.

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