A page from the Mather cookbook (er, grimoire).
Em’s Famous Vanilla Vampire Walnuts*
Serves: 16 warmbloods or 1 vampire
1 pound of shelled nuts (walnuts are traditional, Southern vampires may like some pecans, Spanish vampires like almonds, and a mixture is fine! Em doesn’t recommend cashews for this recipe as they are quick to burn)
½ cup granulated sugar
2 ½ Tbsp.vegetable oil (not olive oil—something flavorless)
1 Tbsp. Vanilla extract
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground coriander
¼ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F/160 degrees C/Gas Mark 3
2. Blend the oil with the vanilla extract.
3. Blanch the nuts for 1 minute in boiling water. Drain. While still hot, put in a bowl with the oil/vanilla mixture and the sugar. Let stand for 10 mins. It will make your kitchen smell like a bakery!
4. Arrange on a baking sheet. Using one with a rim will keep your nuts from driving you nuts! Bake for 30-35 minutes, turning and stirring them every 5-10 mins until the nuts are brown and crispy. Watch for burning—they can go from brown to burned in 30 seconds! You may find you need to remove them at around the 20 minute mark if your oven runs hot. Be careful handling them, as they will be very hot because of the sugar!
5. While nuts are in the oven, combine the salt,coriander, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Tip the baked nuts into the bowl and toss with the spices. Spread in a single layer to cool (they will get crispier as they cool). Store in an airtight container.
These nuts are good for: garnishing cakes and cupcakes, chopping up and putting on Sarah’s oatmeal, snacking, serving to vampires in lieu of cookies, and as a salad topping. Diana likes them in an arugula salad with goat cheese and some pomegranate seeds.
*this recipe was adapted from The Frog Commissary Cookbook by Steven Poses, Anne Clark, Becky Roller.
Image: Poison Apple Printshop via wheelchairwitch.tumblr.com