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Crackerjacks

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Ingredients Edit

  1. 1/2 cup Sugar
  2. 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  3. 1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
  4. 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  5. 1 1/2 whole star anise, broken into points
  6. 6 whole cloves
  7. 2 teaspoons szechwan pepper
  8. 2 cups mixed nuts, toasted

Directions Edit

1. Blend the Sugar, salt, pepper and cinnamon in a bowl.

2. Finely grind the star anise, cloves and Szechwan peppercorns in a spice grinder.

3. Strain through a fine mesh sieve to eliminate the husks, the combine with the Sugar mixture.

4. Heat a large heavy skillet, preferably cast iron, over high heat until hot enough to evaporate a bead of water on contact.

5. Add the nuts and toss until they are hot to the touch, about a minute.

6. Reduce the heat if needed to prevent scorching.

7. Sprinkle the nuts with half the seasoning mixture and shak the pan until the Sugar melts and turns a dark caramlized brown, about a minute.

8. Add the remaining mixture and continue shaking the pan until the Sugar melts again and coats the nuts.

9. (Do not use a spatula or a spoon for this process because the Sugar wil caramelize onto it instead of the nuts.) Immediately turn the nuts onto a foil-lined baking sheet.

10. Use yoru fingers to separate the nuts when cool enough to handle, then let them cool completely.

11. Store in a tightly sealed, clean, dry glass jar.

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