ONLINE EXTRA -- SOMETIMES YOU FEEL LIKE A NUT: Spicy Maple-Glazed Nuts . . . Fruit and Nut Balls . . . Oven Nut Brittlem, etc,

Spicy Maple-Glazed Nuts 1/2 cup pecan halves 1/2 cup walnut pieces 1/2 cup whole, unblanched almonds 1 tablespoon maple syrup 1/2 teaspoon cumin 1/8 teaspoon cayenne 1/8 teaspoon salt Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a 10- by -15-inch jelly-roll...

Spicy Maple-Glazed Nuts

½ cup pecan halves

½ cup walnut pieces

½ cup whole, unblanched almonds

1 tablespoon maple syrup


½ teaspoon cumin

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

1/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a 10- by -15-inch jelly-roll pan with parchment paper.

Combine nuts in a mixing bowl. Drizzle syrup over nuts, then sprinkle with seasonings. Toss to coat nuts evenly.

Spread nuts in a single layer on prepared pan. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until lightly toasted, stirring midway through.

Yield: Serves 6.

Approximate nutritional analysis per ¼-cup serving: 248 calories, 76 percent of calories from fat, 22 fat (2 grams saturated), no cholesterol, 9 grams carbohydrates, 7 grams protein, 47 milligrams sodium, 3 grams dietary fiber.


Roasted Cauliflower with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts

1 head cauliflower, cored and cut into small florets

Olive or vegetable oil spray

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup pine nuts

1½ teaspoons kosher salt (or more if needed)

1 medium onion chopped

2 medium leeks (white and light green part only), thinly sliced


Freshly ground pepper and nutmeg to taste

A sprinkling of cayenne

½ cup golden raisins, dried cranberries or Thompson raisins

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil and spray lightly with oil. In a large bowl, mix the florets with 3 tablespoons olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt. Spread on the pan and roast 15 minutes. Turn and bake until lightly browned and tender, another 10 to 15 minutes.

Toast the pine nuts in a nonstick skillet over medium heat, shaking until lightly brown. Transfer to a plate. In the same pan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Saute the onions and leeks until lightly brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the remaining salt and the pepper, nutmeg and cayenne.

In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower with the onions, leeks, raisins and pine nuts. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Yield: Serves 6,

Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 208 calories, 53 percent of calories from fat, 13.3 grams fat (1.6 grams saturated, 7.6 grams monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 3.7 grams protein, 22.3 grams carbohydrates, 3.5 grams fiber, 529 milligrams sodium.


Fruit and Nut Balls

½ cup dried apricots

½ cup blanched almonds

1/3 cup raisins

5 ounces white chocolate

1/3 cup dried coconut

Line a cookie sheet with wax paper. Chop the apricots, almonds and raisins very fine or whiz them in a food processor.

Melt white chocolate. Then stir in chopped fruit, almonds and coconut.


Gather together about 18 bits of the mixture to form into small balls. Put the balls on the cookie sheet and let them set for 1 to 2 hours. If mixture seems runny at first, chocolate may have been overheated; wait for mixture to cool and it will gather together more easily to be rolled into balls.

Yield: 18 balls.

Approximate nutritional analysis per serving 93 calories, 47 percent of calories from fat, 5 grams fat (2 grams saturated), 2 milligrams cholesterol, 9 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber, 11 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams protein.

Oven Nut Brittle

1 cup sugar

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon salt

¾ cup chopped pecans or walnuts or 4 ounces pumpkin seeds


1 egg white

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheet with silicone mat or parchment paper.

Mix sugar, cayenne, salt and nuts in medium bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk egg white until foamy, but not stiff. Fold egg white into seed mixture. Mixture will be crumbly.

Using a spatula or hands, spread the mixture evenly on pan. The thin layer will measure about 6 by 10 inches.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until completely golden brown. Mixture will foam, rise and expand as it cooks, then flatten as it cools.

Cool completely and break into pieces.

Belgian Chocolate Walnut Fudge

Butter (to grease pan)

¾ pound Veliche Belgian chocolate 58 percent or 72 percent (the higher the cocoa content the richer the fudge!)

3 cups miniature marshmallows

¾ cup chopped walnuts

2 cups sugar

2/3 cup evaporated milk

3 tablespoons butter

Butter an 8-by-2-inch pan.

Have chocolate, marshmallows and nuts ready.

Combine sugar, milk and butter in a heavy medium-size saucepan.

Bring to boiling and lower heat. Gently simmer, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to prevent scorching, about 6 minutes or to 227 degrees on a candy thermometer.

Remove from heat. Immediately stir in chocolate and marshmallows until melted. Quickly stir in walnuts and pour into prepared pan and smooth into pan.

Allow to firm up about 1 hour in the refrigerator. Remove and cut into squares and store in an air tight container in the refrigerator for best results. Let stand out about 30 minutes to get to room temperature before eating (unless you like cold fudge!).You can leave out of the refrigerator in an airtight container for storing provided that where you are storing it is not too warm!

Yield: About 3 pounds.

Cape May Almond Cookies


2 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


½ cup (1 stick) butter

½ cup sugar

½ cup sliced almonds

1 tablespoon flour

1 tablespoon milk

1 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine eggs and 1 cup sugar and beat well with an electric mixer. Add melted butter, 1 cup flour and vanilla, and stir until combined. Pour into greased and floured 9-by-13-inch pan. Bake until pale gold, about 30 minutes.

While cake cooks, make topping: In a saucepan combine all topping ingredients. Cook over low heat, stirring, until thick, about 10 minutes.

When cake comes out of the oven, turn on the broiler. Spread topping over cake, then slip cake into broiler, about 4 inches from heat, until topping is brown and bubbly, 3 to 4 minutes. Cool, then slice.

Yield: 24 to 36 cookies.

Pecan Logs

2 cups (about 5½ ounces) whole pecans

2½ cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

1½ teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature

1¼ cups confectioners' sugar, sifted

1 large egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Toast the pecans by spreading them out on a baking sheet and cooking at 350 degrees until fragrant, about 10 minutes. Cool slightly, then process pecans in a food processor until finely ground; do not process them into a paste. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. Put butter and confectioners' sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix on medium until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg and vanilla, and mix well until combined. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture and half of the ground pecans, mixing until just combined. Wrap dough in plastic; refrigerate about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll tablespoon-size pieces of dough into 2-inch logs. Roll logs in remaining ground pecans. Place on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until pale golden and slightly cracked, 14 to 15 minutes. Transfer logs to wire racks to cool.

Yield: About 40 cookies.

Shortbread Cookies

1½ cups sifted flour

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup butter or margarine

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup granulated sugar

½ cup chopped pecans for topping

¼ cup confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. With a wooden spoon, combine flour, salt, butter and ½ cup of the brown sugar until well blended. Press into a 7-by-11-inch tempered-glass pan.

Combine eggs and vanilla with granulated sugar and remaining ½ cup brown sugar. Spread over flour mixture and sprinkle with nuts. Bake until light brown on top, 25 to 30 minutes. Cut into squares while warm. Cool then sprinkle with confectioners' sugar.

Yield: 24 to 40 cookies.

Chocolate-Dipped Raspberry-Filled Spritz Cookies

3 cups sifted flour

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup sugar

1¼ cups (2½ sticks) butter

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup seedless raspberry jam

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, melted (see note)

Chocolate sprinkles and finely chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sift together flour and salt. In a separate bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until creamy. Blend in eggs and vanilla. Beat well. Add dry ingredients a little at a time and beat until combined. Put dough in cookie press fitted with saw-toothed plate. Press onto ungreased cookie sheets in 2-inch lengths and bake until lightly browned, about 8 minutes.

Remove from pan immediately and cool on wire rack. For each sandwich cookie, spread a thin layer of jam on one cookie and cover with second. Dip both ends in warm, melted chocolate and then dip in sprinkles or nuts. Place cookies on rack and allow the chocolate to harden. Then hide the cookies; they are irresistible!

Yield: 48 sandwich cookies.

Spiced Squash with Glazed Walnuts

1 winter squash, about 2½ pounds

½ cup brown sugar

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder

Sea salt to taste


¼ cup sugar

2 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon light corn syrup

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

¼ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped

Peel the squash and remove and discard the seeds. Cut the squash into 1½-inch pieces.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place the squash chunks on the baking sheet and bake about 20 minutes.

In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar with the butter and five-spice powder. Cook over moderate heat until the butter is melted and the mixture is bubbling, about 4 minutes. Pour the mixture over the squash pieces and stir to coat. Season with salt. Bake for about 10 minutes, basting a few times, until the squash pieces are tender and glazed.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, water, corn syrup and butter and bring to a simmer. Cook over medium heat until a light caramel forms, about 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the baking soda and salt. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the walnuts. Quickly spread the toffee on the prepared baking sheet as thinly as possible. Cool completely and then break into pieces.

Sprinkle the walnut toffee over the squash and serve.

Note: Microwave the whole squash about 5 minutes to make it easier to peel and cut.

Yield: Serves 6.

Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 342 calories, 42 percent of calories from fat, 16 grams fat (7 grams saturated), 52 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams protein, 114 milligrams sodium, 25 milligrams cholesterol, 1 gram fiber.

Banana Bread

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

1½ cups coarsely chopped walnuts

2 large eggs

1½ cups mashed bananas

¼ cup sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt and stir together well to blend. Stir nuts into flour mixture until evenly distributed.

In a separate bowl, beat eggs. Add bananas, sour cream, vanilla and melted butter, and mix with a spoon or rubber spatula until well combined.

Make a well in center of the flour, pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir together with a spoon or large rubber spatula until ingredients are fully combined. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Cover loaf loosely with foil to prevent it from overbrowning and continue baking another 25 to 40 minutes until a cake tester inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Baking time at 325 will vary depending on oven. This loaf is large and may require total baking time up to 90 minutes (including 40 minutes at 325 degrees).

Remove from oven and cool loaf in pan on a wire rack until cool enough to handle, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove loaf from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

Yield: 1 loaf.

Smoked Paprika Nut Mix

½ pound pecan halves

½ pound raw whole almonds

2 tablespoons (¼ stick) unsalted butter

1½ tablespoons smoked paprika, or more to taste

2 teaspoons coarse sea salt or kosher salt, or more to taste

½ pound sesame sticks

Spread the nuts on ungreased baking sheets and toast in a 300-degree oven, stirring a couple of times to prevent burning, until fragrant and slightly browned, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the butter in a microwave-safe container or zip-seal plastic bag large enough to hold the nuts and microwave on 50 percent power in increments of 30 seconds until melted.

Add the smoked paprika, the salt, the warm toasted nuts and the sesame sticks and toss or mix until the nut mix is thoroughly coated with the seasonings and butter.

Yield: 1½ pounds.

Approximate nutritional analysis per 1-ounce serving: 130 calories, 10 grams fat, 9 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams protein, 3 milligrams cholesterol, 208 milligrams sodium, 2 grams dietary fiber, 67 percent of calories from fat.

Pecan Pie

1½ cups Karo syrup

3 eggs

½ cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup pecans (pieces or halves)

½ stick butter, melted

Dash salt

Unbaked 9-inch pie shell

Mix Karo, eggs and sugar. Beat very lightly. Blend in vanilla, pecans, melted butter and salt and pour into unbaked pie shell. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes, then at 300 degrees for 35 minutes or until set.

Yield: Serves 8.

Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 489 calories, 23 grams fat, 72 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams protein, 86 milligrams cholesterol, 333 milligrams sodium, 2 grams dietary fiber, 40 percent of calories from fat.

Ginger and Spice Pecan Cake

2 cups sifted flour

1 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

¾ teaspoon baking soda

¾ teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground ginger

2/3 cup vegetable oil

½ cup hot water

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 cup milk or buttermilk

½ cup molasses

1 cup chopped pecans

1 cup raisins

Sift together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, soda, cloves, cinnamon and ginger. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together oil, hot water and brown sugar; add eggs, milk and molasses; beat thoroughly.

Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture; blend thoroughly. Stir in pecans and raisins.

Bake in a well-greased 9-by-13-by-2-inch pan, or 2 8-by-8-by-2-inch pans, at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until center of cake is firm. Cool for 10 minutes.

Yield: Serves 12.

Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 453 calories, 20 grams fat, 67 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams protein, 32 milligrams cholesterol, 421 milligrams sodium, 2 grams dietary fiber, 39 percent of calories from fat.

Sauteed Scallops with Lemon, Parsley and Pecans

½ cup pecans (pieces or halves)

½ cup packed flat-leaf parsley leaves

2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

Zest of 1 lemon

1/8 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning scallops to taste

1½ pounds bay scallops

Flour for dredging

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

In a food processor, combine pecans, parsley, garlic, lemon zest and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Process briefly until mixture is a chunky puree. (You also could chop the mixture together very finely by hand.) Set aside.

Rinse scallops and pat dry. Lightly season with salt. Roll scallops in flour, then toss in colander to shake off excess flour.

Heat oil in large skillet over high heat. When hot but not smoking, add scallops and saute quickly, tossing frequently until golden and nearly cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add pecan mixture and cook 2 minutes. Remove to serving plate and sprinkle with lemon juice.

Yield: Serves 4.

Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 275 calories,12 grams fat, 8 grams carbohydrates, 29 grams protein, 56 milligrams cholesterol, 412 milligrams sodium, 1 gram dietary fiber, 39 percent of calories from fat.

Banana-Nut Muffins

1¾ cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1 beaten egg

½ cup milk

¾ cup mashed banana

½ cup chopped nuts

¼ cup cooking oil


3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons brown sugar

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons chopped nuts

Grease 12 2.5-inch muffin cups; set aside.

In medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Make a well in center of flour mixture; set aside.

In another bowl, combine egg, milk, oil, mashed banana and nuts. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened. You do not want to overstir this will cause muffins to become tough.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each two-thirds full.

If desired, sprinkle streusel topping over muffin batter in cups. Topping is made by cutting butter (see ingredients list above) into mixture of flour, brown sugar and ground cinnamon until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in nuts.

Bake in a 400-degree oven 18 to 20 minutes or until golden and a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in muffin cups on a wire rack for 5 minutes before serving.

Yield: Serves 12.

Approximate nutritional analysis per serving including topping: 222.1 calories, 4.5 grams protein, 27.3 grams carbohydrates, 11.1 grams fat (2.4 grams saturated), 23.9 milligrams cholesterol, 1.1 grams dietary fiber, 148 milligrams sodium.

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