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nibble on this
cocktail snacks

by Yee-Fan Sun
 1 2

With Thanksgiving zooming up on the calendar, the holiday party period is about to launch into full swing. At occasions ranging from holiday brunches to dinner parties to drinks fetes and more, this is the season for celebrating with friends and family. Chances are good, then, that you’ll be inviting folks over your place at some point in the next couple of months. Whether you’re hosting a holiday cocktail party, having a few pals over for some tree-trimming, or looking for snacks to serve pre-dinner at your Thanksgiving feast, light nibbles are a must this time of year. For something a lil’ more special than the usual potato chips or plastic tub o’nuts, check out these easy, elegant do-ahead recipes. (Hint: They also make lovely little gifts for your favorite host or hostess too!)

ginger honey-roasted peanuts
Peanuts have the benefit of being way, way cheaper than any other nuts (yes, I know; they’re not technically nuts, but munchies-wise, they fit the same category), and offer plenty of nibbly goodness for the buck. These subtly ginger-cayenne spiced peanuts are easy to throw together, and tastier than the overpriced versions you’ll find at the store. In fact, the only drawback of these sweet-n-savory eats is that they make a bit of a mess in your baking pan. Don’t use your best pan; meanwhile, a good soaking in hot water will make it easier to get off the caramelized goo come clean-up time.

1 lb. raw peanuts
1/4 cup salted butter
1/4 cup honey
1/8 tsp. ground cayenne (this doesn’t add a noticeable heat, so don’t leave it out as it makes the coating just that extra little bit more addictive; if you want real spice, double it)
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. salt, plus more to taste as needed

Preheat oven to 325F. Melt the butter and stir in the honey, cayenne, ginger. Remove from heat, and toss with peanuts. Spread the peanuts out in a single layer on a big baking sheet, and bake for 20-25 minutes, stirring a couple times during the cooking process until the peanuts are toasted all over. Let cool completely. Taste, and salt more as needed. Store in an airtight container.

more nibbles this way...

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