Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Is it better when the Germans roast your nuts?
Dear Tricia, I am in love! Yeah my husband is great and all, but I had these amazing German roasted nuts this weekend. While I enjoyed them so much, I would have paid less if I had flown to Germany and bought them there! Do you have a recipe for German roasted nuts? Not that I need the frequent flier miles, it's kinda cold in Germany!
Seeing as how my last name is Reisch, you have come to das right place for German inquiries. Now, I have never had these elusive German Roasted Nuts, but after researching them, I found out that they're a trademarked product used with a patented nut roasting machine, specifically for roasting nuts with water. In looking at information on these machines, I learned that they are:
1. very large
2. very expensive (so expensive that they won't advertise the price)
3. and that the German nut roasters are very secretive about how they actually work.
I'm pretty certain that you'll have to trade your firstborn for one of those machines and if it fits in your garage, you're lucky.
I don't have any recipes for "water-roasting" nuts. I do, however, have 2 recipes for candying nuts that might be close to what you're looking for. One is super-easy, and one requires a little more skill but is worth the effort. For the easy one,
1 pound RAW nuts with no skins
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt
Toss the nuts in the maple syrup, sugar, and salt and spread them evenly on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper or parchment paper.
Roast at 350 degrees for about 10-12 minutes, or until the nuts start to smell toasted.
Be very careful with them when you take them out of the oven, since hot sugar is basically equal temperature to liquid magma.
The more advanced recipe requires you to get all your kids out of the kitchen for 20 minutes since they like to grab things... especially hot things that you're busy trying to cook. This is probably why I don't have kids. Or maybe its because I don't have a boyfriend. Who knows.
1 pound RAW nuts with no skins
3/4 c plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
Have a clean cookie sheet ready.
Combine the sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla with just enough water to make it feel like wet sand. Wipe the inside walls of the pan off with water to make sure there are no loose sugar granules on it.
Let the sugar cook without stirring it or moving the pot around. Once the sugar is dissolved and it is clear and bubbling, you're going to cook it until it "spins a thread." That means, when you dip a spoon in the sugar and pull it out, the extra sugar that drips off the spoon drips so thin that it looks like a thread.
Once the sugar is hot enough to spin a thread, TURN DOWN THE TEMPERATURE TO MEDIUM, and dump in all the nuts and start stirring. (very important to turn it down, otherwise you're going to mess up everything and ruin Christmas) You're going to stir as fast as you can (Watch out! The kids have a sixth sense that tells them when something hot is on the oven! Go yell at them to sit back down in front of Blue's Clues)and keep stirring. The sugar will start to crystallize, or look like its turning back into solid sugar, but that is fine. Just keep stirring until the sugar starts to melt and turn light golden brown, or caramelized. The nuts will start to make a popping noise because they are toasting in the sugar.
Once all of the nuts are coated in a golden brown caramel, pour them on to a cookie sheet and separate them with the spoon so that they harden individually and not in chunks. Let the liquid magma nuts cool before you eat them or throw them at your husband.
I hope this helps you. Give them a try and decide if you want to add more spices next time, or maybe some salt or some heat(like chili powder.) These won't be the exact same as your prized German Roasted Nuts; those German nut roasters are so secretive that they won't let anyone, including me (a girl with the most German last name EVER) know how they make them. And because of that, I think they can just suck it. Or, das schtucken it, rather.