For every season, I’m sure we all have certain dishes that we like to make. I can’t imagine not making roast asparagus in the Spring or panzanella in the Summer, for example. The Fall has a long list of recipes that I enjoy trying, but the one that I make over and over is a recipe for a sweet snack that is impossible to resist:  Vanilla-Orange Nuts.

Made with a variety of nuts including walnuts, almonds and macadamia nuts, Vanilla-Orange Nuts are a type of sugared nut based on a recipe from the fantastic Party Nuts! by Sally Sampson. They are fragrant with vanilla and orange and are spiced by a touch of cinnamon. They’re perfect with a glass of wine or even a mug of hot chocolate. And it’s impossible to eat only one.

Impossible I tell you!

So when Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Sensual Gourmet agreed to host CBBP #2, I knew immediately that I would be blogging about this favourite Fall recipe. Because these nuts travel well, there’s a blogger out there, somewhere in Canada, that will soon be receiving a little package with these nuts in them, among other things.

If you’re a blogger in Canada, and you’d like to take part, please contact Jasmine as there’s still time to participate.

As for me, I’m just sitting here waiting for sweet Jasmine to tell me who my blogging partner is for CBBP #2. Hurry, Jasmine! Before I eat all the nuts!


Vanilla-Orange Nuts

Adapted from Party Nuts! by Sally Sampson.

  • 4-1/2 cups, assorted unsalted nuts (I use walnuts, pecans, almonds, cashews and macadamia nuts)
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 5 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla sugar (if you don’t have vanilla sugar, then just use 6 tbsp. regular sugar)
  • 1-1/2 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • a few drops of orange oil (optional)
  • 3/4 tbsp. vanilla powder (if you can’t find vanilla powder, then use 2 tbsp. vanilla extract)
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp. finely grated orange zest
  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the nuts and the butter and mix until the nuts are all coated with butter.
  3. Add the sugar, vanilla extract and orange oil (if using). Toss well to ensure that all the nuts are coated with sugar.
  4. Spread the nuts on the parchment paper-lined tray and make sure they’re in an even layer.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes, tossing the nuts every 7 or 8 minutes.
  6. While the nuts are baking, in a small bowl, combine the vanilla powder, the cinnamon and salt. Mix well and set aside.
  7. As soon as the nuts are done, remove them from the oven and sprinkle on the vanilla powder/cinnamon/salt mixture, as well as the orange zest. Mix well.
  8. Let the nuts cool completely. Store in an airtight container, in the refrigerator, for up to a week. But trust me … they won’t last that long.
  9. Enjoy!

Note:  The original recipe from Sampson’s book is called "Lauren’s Vanilla Walnuts." I like to use an assortment of nuts but you can only use walnuts if you like. The original recipe also calls for nutmeg (about 1 tsp.) and freshly ground black pepper (about 1/2 tsp.).

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