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Spiced pumpkin seeds

Time 20 minutes
Yields Serves 12 (makes 3 cups)
Spiced pumpkin seeds
1

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large, rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

2

Combine the pumpkin seeds and the half egg white in a very large stainless steel bowl and toss to coat. Sprinkle the sugar, salt, paprika and 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne over the seeds and toss until well and evenly coated. Divide the seeds between the 2 prepared sheets and spread out in an even layer.

3

Bake the seeds 5 minutes. Remove the sheets from the oven and shake or stir the seeds to keep them from sticking or burning. Return them to the oven for 5 minutes, then stir or shake again. Repeat one or two more times, until the seeds are crunchy but not browned. They’ll get crunchier after they’ve cooled. (They may clump a bit -- you can leave them that way or let them cool and then break them apart.) Remove from the oven and cool on racks. Serve warm or store indefinitely in airtight containers.

These nuts can be served as a snack with drinks, alone or mixed with fresh popcorn, or tossed into salads, green or otherwise. They also make a good garnish for fish. Other spices, like cumin, can be added, but the cayenne is important. The recipe is from “Creole Flavors” by Kevin Graham (Artisan, 1996).

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