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Chino Latino Honey Nut Clusters

Five spice honey nuts
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Chinese culture has long influenced the landscape of Latin America.  Since at least the 1970’s immigrants from Taiwan and Hong Kong have been serving in the agricultural and fishing industries from Argentina to Cuba.  Having carved out Chinese communities, or barrios chinos, their food and spices have created a slant on typical Latin fare.  This snack is an ode to some of my favorite Chinese spices.  Keep this around for everyday snacking or make a batch to serve at your Superbowl party.  The salty, savory nuts are addictive.

Ingredients & Method

  • 3 cups peanuts, raw and unsalted
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese Five Spice*
  • ½ teaspoon Chile d’Arbol powder
  • ¾ cup honey

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Toss together peanuts, salt, five spice and chile d’Arbol.  Transfer to a parchment lined sheet tray and roast in oven for about 10-15 minutes, or until peanuts are fragrant, rotating the pan halfway through cooking time.  While nuts are roasting, heat honey in a small pan on medium-low heat.  (Do not bring to a boil.  Barely heating the honey will loosen the consistency to easily stir with nuts.)  In a mixing bowl, combine barely warmed honey and nuts.  Transfer to a parchment lined sheet tray (or silpat** if available) and spread mixture evenly on tray.  Place tray back in oven and roast for another 15-20 minutes, rotating pan half through cook time.  Remove from oven and let rest in a cool, dry area for at least one hour or until nuts and honey are hard and barely sticky.

* Chinese Five Spice is a blend of Chinese cinnamon, fennel, Sichuan peppercon, cloves and star anise

** Silpats are non-stick baking sheets that are fantastic for baking sticky products and are easy to clean www.silpat.com

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