I don’t like very spicy foods. I like to taste the nuances of my food and not allow heat to overrule the flavors. However, a little heat now and then can be very nice. Heat can also be medicinal, helping everything from stomach upset and preventing colds to relieving the pain of arthritis. I have the perfect solution: a buttery, crunchy candy that has just a little burn to it. Yum! Originally from Gourmet magazine, I’ve been making it annually for Christmas for many years now, and it is hard to not polish off.
It is simplicity itself to make. You put all the ingredients into a pan, heat it until the butter and sugar melts, turn up the heat until it begins to clump, pour it out onto a buttered cookie sheet and wait for it to harden. If it is still sticky, put the pan in the refrigerator for five minutes.
- 2 cups whole salted cashews
- 10 tablespoons (1¼ sticks) unsalted butter
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Butter a nonstick baking sheet and put aside.
- Combine all the ingredients in a large nonstick skillet.
- Stir over low heat until the butters melt and the sugars dissolve.
- Increase heat to medium and boil, stirring constantly until mixture turns golden brown, thickens and begins to mass together (about 5 minutes).
- Immediately pour out onto prepeared baking sheet, spreading evenly.
- Cool completely.
- Break into pieces.
- Makes about 1⅓ pounds.