Spicing up the Holiday Cookie Exchange

sweet & spicy walnuts, originally uploaded by the boastful baker.

I have a huge sweet tooth and cookies, of all kinds, top my favorite food chart. That said, I decided that for the holiday cookie exchange, I wanted to spice things up. Just a little something spicy to cut the sweetness between trying all my neighbors’ goodies.

As well as gingerbread cookies, I brought a little bowl of Cocoa-Chile Candied Walnuts. This is my own adaption to a recipe published by Hershey’s chocolate.

1.5 cups walnut haves
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons sugar (separate from sugar listed above)
1 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons hot cocoa mix (or 1.5 tablespoons cocoa powder)
4 tablespoons Chili powder
Slightly less than ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (closer to ¼ if you don’t love spice)

1.Dissolve ¼ cup sugar in boiling water. Leave walnuts soaking for 15 minutes. Drain.
2.Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Once well mixed, toss in walnuts. Shake well.
3.Place coated walnuts on a cookie sheet and cook at 350 for 15 minutes. Stir or shake mid-bake if you remember.
I can’t say they were a hit, but the host did like them (and kept them). Guess I need to make a new back soon!

***Please note the picture is not mine; I forgot to take one. These are beautiful in any case and if you click on the link the photographer gives you her recipe.

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