When people come to my apartment, they expect beer. No surprise there! I love having little bar snacks ready for our friends tasting the homebrew on tap or whatever is in my fridge. (They often don't bring their own beer hmmmmmm! haha)
Having cured meats and fresh cheeses on hand is great but I don't actually have to make anything with those snacks. I try to have at least one or two homemade things on the spread and these bar nuts are my go to.
It took me a long time to get these right. Honey wouldn't spread enough as the sweet element, kosher salt was too crunchy and spread out, and let me just say experimenting with crushed red pepper instead of cayenne led to me chugging a lot of milk. Finally, I got them just right. They're a little sweet, perfectly spicy and have a touch of bitterness depending on the beer you use.
Yes! The sweet spicy flavor is delectable, but the thing that is truly the best is that I can get them totally ready within 15 minutes! Guests are always surprised that I have warm nuts ready to go when they walk in the door, I just let them think I'm Martha Stewart or something.
Beer Glazed Bar Nuts
makes 2 cups
2/3 cup powdered sugar
3/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
3/4 tsp. table salt
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tbsp. beer (avoid bitterness, something Belgian works best!)
2 cups nuts (peanuts and pecans are my faves.)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. In a small bowl, whisk together sugar, cayenne, salt and ginger
3. Add beer and stir until a runny glaze forms
4. Mix in nuts until well coated
5. Lay nuts on a parchment lined baking sheet.
6. Bake for 12 minutes or until glaze has bubbled & hardened
7. Serve immediately and store in an air-tight container for up to 5 days
Pairing Beer with Beer-Glazed Bar Nuts
It shouldn't come as a surprise that a great beer to go with these addictive little snacks is the one you made them with! So, let's talk about that...I love a good IPA as much as anyone but bitter beers don't work well in this (or most other) recipes.
When you cook beer in the oven a lot of the alcohol sweetness just *poof* cooks away and your previously balanced beer is now quite bitter.
As far as what beers go best in the recipe, I love a Belgian Triple or Quad, a Saison that is on the sweet side will also turn out well. For a pairing when eating these nuts, just about any beer will do! I would stay away from sours or styles with a super delicate flavor like a rice beer or something brett-y, but for the most part you're good with whatever you pick! Cheers!