Spicy Date Syrup Nuts

Makes 3 and 1/3 cups


1 cup unroasted, unsalted unblanched whole almonds (often sold as ‘natural’ in the grocery store)
1 cup unroasted, unsalted walnut halves
1 cup unroasted, unsalted pecan halves
1/3 cup unroasted, unsalted pistachios
¾ teaspoon roughly ground or pounded fennel seeds
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon amchoor spice, available at Asian grocery stores ( you can substitute 2 teaspoons lemon juice at end of recipe, if you can’t get amchoor)
½ to 2 teaspoons ground cayenne pepper (I use 1 teaspoon)
1-2 teaspoons fine salt, divided (I use Maldon Sea Salt that I pound fine)
1/3 cup date syrup
2 tablespoons olive oil.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  1. Line two rimmed baking sheets with ungreased parchment paper.
  2. Put all the almonds in one bowl.
  3. Put the walnuts halves, pecan halves and pistachios in a second bowl.
  4. Stir all the spices (including 1 teaspoon of the salt) together in a cup and set aside. Be prepared to divide this mix later between two bowls of nuts.
  5. Mix the date syrup and olive oil in another cup. Be prepared to split it between two bowls of nuts.
  6. Cover the nuts in each bowl firstly with the syrup-oil mixture, and secondly with the spices. Don’t be afraid to use your clean hands!
  7. Put the sticky spiced almonds on one baking sheet, and the rest of the nuts on the other sheet. Wash your hands!
  8. Set a timer for 5 minutes and put both baking sheets in the oven. When your timer rings, use a spatula to stir around the nuts on each baking sheet and rotate the sheets back to front, and higher rack to bottom rack. This promotes even cooking.
  9. Set timer once again for 5 more minutes. When the timer rings, take out the walnuts, pecans and pistachios and set them on their parchment lined pan on a kitchen counter or table. If you are using lemon juice INSTEAD of amchoor, now is the time to toss the nuts with the lemon juice, remembering that you’ll divide the two tablespoons of lemon juice between both sheets of nuts. Taste to see if you want to add any more of the reserved salt.
  10. Allow the almonds to roast two to three more minutes longer than the walnuts-pecans-pistachios–or until many of the nuts show some signs of caramelization. Then you should remove the baking sheet to cool on the counter.
  11. The nuts will probably be cool enough to handle and taste in fifteen minutes. Let them cool to room temperature before packing in tins or git bags. They’ll stay fresh in their wrappings for up to a month, and they can be frozen as well. Eat out of hand and also use as a topping for cereal, oatmeal, cake, ice cream, pancakes, and any other place you think they’d fit.