To me, the appeal of any recipe has always been that it was created with a good, solid base, allowing me to easily swap out a few ingredients and transform the dish into something completely new. Adaptability. Variability. Riffability.
(I’ll concede that one of those might not be a real word.)
One recipe I’ve been playing around with lately is honey-roasted peanuts. They’re sweet, salty, and addictively crunchy “plain.” But add crushed red pepper flakes (like the nuclear hot stuff we made from our serrano explosion) and you’ve got a sweet & spicy treat. It’s pretty much legal crack.
Add the warm flavors of pumpkin pie spices (stay tuned) and you get a crunchy snack perfect for fall snacking. Substitute almonds for peanuts? You’ve got a whole ‘nother ball game (and a healthier one, too).
But perhaps best of all, there are fewer (4! Maybe 5) and less-processed ingredients than its store bought counterpart and the names of all of those ingredients? They can be probably pronounced by your average 2nd grader or your incredibly gifted 1st grader.
The honey roasting process is simple. Peanuts are coated with honey before being tossed with sugar and salt and roasted in the oven. I changed the method just a bit to produce a crunchier, coarser texture on the peanuts – the coating on the peanuts accounts for 56.3% of the fun!
The trickiest thing about making the peanuts in my oven is preventing them from burning before the sugar and honey caramelize enough to produce a beautiful golden brown crunchy coating. Enter the Silpat.
My favorite rinse-it-off-and-wipe-it-clean baking mat keeps the temperature even and makes honey-roasting clean-up a breeze. If you’ve been around here long enough, you know that I’m a huge Silpat fan. I’ve used them for years – cookies, scones, macarons, salmon roulade, bread! – and have given a few of them away along the way.
Congratulations to commenter #352 – Ashley P! Please check your email for instructions on how to claim your prize.
And we have another one to giveaway today! Silpat has provided a “half” sized baking mat for a lucky reader, just in time for fall and holiday baking. The half size is made to fit the large jelly-roll style baking pans.
To enter the giveaway, tell us in the comments below: What are you looking forward to baking most this fall?
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Good luck! The fine print:
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm (Texas time!) 9/24.
– Winner will be selected by one of those cold, soulless, unfeeling random number generator thingies and announced on this post after selected.
– Winners will receive a Silpat Half Size baking mat (maximum retail value of prize = $30).
– Prize must be claimed within 7 days or it will be forfeited.
– Prize can only be shipped to a US address.
– Prize is being provided directly to the winner by Silpat.
– Official giveaway rules can be found here.
Homemade Honey Roasted Peanuts
Homemade honey roasted peanuts couldn't be easier to make with only 4 ingredients. Adding crushed red pepper makes a sweet and spicy (and addictive) snack.
- 16 oz cocktail peanuts
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Line a baking sheet with a silpat.
- Place peanuts in a medium bowl (large enough to stir the peanuts).
- Microwave honey and crushed red pepper in a bowl for 30 seconds and pour over the peanuts.
- Add half of the sugar and the salt, stirring well.
- Spread onto the baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, making sure to stir the peanuts on the edges in to prevent burning.
- Let cool for 2-3 minutes and then stir the peanuts, scraping the honey from the silpat to coat the peanuts.
- Sprinkle with 2 Tbsp sugar and stir again.
- Sprinkle with remaining sugar and let cool completely.
- Break up the peanuts into single/smaller pieces and store in an airtight container.
Yields: ~3 cups
Estimated time: 35 minutes