We’re excited to share our homemade Mashuga Nuts recipe - a favorite in our household, and we’re sure it’ll become a staple in yours, too. These candied nuts are delicious and incredibly versatile - perfect as a snack, thoughtful gift, or charming addition to your party spread.
But…what exactly is a mashuga nut?
The name ‘Mashuga’ comes from a Yiddish word meaning “crazy,” trust us, one taste, and you’ll understand why – they’re crazy good!
Usually made with pecans or almonds, chosen for their rich flavor and satisfying crunch, these nuts are taken to the next level with a sweet, crusty coating. And for those who like a little excitement, a sprinkle of cayenne pepper adds just the right amount of heat.
Why make it at home?
Before diving into the recipe, let’s talk about why making Mashuga Nuts at home is a game changer. Firstly, convenience is unbeatable; you’ll find most of these ingredients right in your pantry, and when you prepare them yourself, you control the quality of the ingredients - ensuring a healthier, fresher batch every time. Plus, the aroma of baking nuts and spices filling your home? Divine!
Choosing your nuts
The highlights of our Mashuga Nuts recipe are undoubtedly the pecans and almonds; these nuts are chosen for their taste and exceptional crunchiness. Feel free to experiment with other nuts, too! Cashews, peanuts, walnuts, and Brazil nuts all make fantastic additions.
- Cashews have a soft, almost creamy texture and delicate sweetness that add a lovely contrast.
- Peanuts, a classic favorite, offer a familiar yet always welcome earthy depth.
- Walnuts, known for their distinctive and slightly bitter edge, give the mix a little twist.
- Brazil nuts, with their large size and rich, meaty texture, provide a satisfying weight to the nut mix.
For this recipe, we use a tub of unsalted mixed nuts to add variety to our mashuga mix.
Spice and sweetness
Our seasoning blend is simple yet magical. We combine cinnamon, sugar, and vanilla - classic flavors that create an irresistibly sweet and aromatic candied crust. If you’re like us and enjoy a bit of zing, throw in a pinch of cayenne pepper.
The secret to that crunch
Here’s the trick to making Mashuga nuts: using an egg white. We whisk it until frothy and then gently toss the nuts in it. this helps the spices and sugar cling to the nuts, ensuring each one is perfectly coated. After baking, you’ll get nuts with a crispy, crackly finish that’s just heavenly.
Do you feel like a bit of experimentation for your mashuga nuts? Here are a few ideas;
- Spiced mashuga nuts: Add spices like nutmeg, ginger, or pumpkin spice for a warm, aromatic flavor.
- Sweet and salty mashuga nuts: Combine the sweetness of the sugar coating with a pinch of sea salt for a contrasting taste.
- Chocolate drizzled mashuga nuts: After baking, drizzle melted dark or milk chocolate over the nuts for a decadent touch.
- Honey glazed mashuga nuts: Substitute sugar with honey for a different kind of sweetness and a glossier finish.
- Espresso mashuga nuts: Mix some finely ground espresso beans with the sugar and spices for a coffee-flavored treat.
- Coconut tossed mashuga nuts: Toss the nuts in shredded coconut before baking for a tropical flavor.
- Lemon zest mashuga nuts: Add lemon zest to the coating for a citrusy zing.
- Maple cinnamon mashuga nuts: Use maple syrup instead of sugar and emphasize the cinnamon for a cozy, autumn-inspired flavor.
- Chili lime mashuga nuts: Combine chili powder and lime zest for a zesty, spicy variation.
How can I serve or use mashuga nuts?
Mashuga nuts are great as a snack on their own but here are a few ideas;
- Cheese board: Pair them with cheeses, fruits, and crackers on a cheese board for added texture and flavor.
- Salad topping: Sprinkle them over salads for a crunchy, sweet element.
- Dessert garnish: Use them as a topping for ice cream, cakes, or puddings.
- Breakfast boost: Add them to oatmeal, yogurt, or cereal for a nutritious start to your day.
- Gift jars: Pack them in decorative jars as a delightful homemade gift.
- Trail mix: Mix them with dried fruits and other nuts for a homemade trail mix.
- Baking: Chop and fold them into cookie dough, brownie batter, or muffin mix for extra crunch.
- Cocktail party snack: Serve them at cocktail parties as a sophisticated snack option.
- With coffee or tea: Pair them with your favorite coffee or tea as a sweet companion.
- Movie night munchie: Enjoy them during movie nights as a tasty alternative to popcorn.
How should I store Mashuga nuts?
Store your homemade Mashuga nuts in an airtight jar at room temperature for 3-4 weeks.
We're excited to share our homemade Mashuga Nuts recipe - it's a favorite in our household and we're sure it'll become a staple in yours too. These candied nuts are not just scrumptious but also incredibly versatile.
0.5 lbs unsalted mixed nuts
½ cup granulated sugar
1 egg white
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Preheat the oven to 300°F.
Whisk an egg white until it is frothy and foamy (roughly 2-3 minutes of whisking by hand).
Add the assorted nuts, ½ cup of granulated sugar, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract, ¼ teaspoon salt, ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper to the egg whites. Mix everything together until the nuts are thoroughly coated in egg whites.
Melt 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter on a low medium heat on the stove. Once this is melted, pour the butter into a baking tray that is lined with baking paper, and then add the nuts on top of the butter - spread the nuts out evenly.
Put the tray in the oven and bake for 30 - 45 minutes until golden brown and until all the butter has been absorbed by the nuts. Toss the nuts every 15 minutes.
Let the nuts cool for roughly 30 minutes and then break up any large chunks of nuts. Enjoy your mashuga nuts!
- Calories 364 kcal |
- Carbohydrate Content 22.1 g |
- Cholesterol Content 10.2 mg |
- Fat Content 31.1 g |
- Fiber Content 3.7 g |
- Protein Content 4.1 g |
- Serving Size 1 portion |
- Sodium Content 106.8 mg |
- Sugar Content 18.2 g |
About the author
Emma Donin is the culinary maestro behind this blog that serves as a melting pot of global cuisines and gastronomic adventures. Her culinary journey began in her grandmother's kitchen, where she learned the fundamentals of cooking and the importance of using fresh, quality ingredients.