Meringue party nuts
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5 cups mixed, unsalted nuts
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
3 egg whites
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spread nuts on a jelly roll pan and toast in the oven for about 12 minutes. Remove nuts from oven and place in a large bowl. Place butter on jelly roll pan and return to oven until butter melts. In the medium bowl of an electric mixer, beat egg whites and salt on high speed until they form soft peaks. Reduce mixer speed and gradually add sugar, one tablespoon at a time, beating briefly between additions. Turn mixer to high and continue beating until egg whites form stiff peaks. Beat in vanilla.
Add meringue mixture to nuts and toss gently just until nuts are coated. Pour coated nuts over melted butter in the jelly roll pan. Bake 45 minutes. During baking time, remove pan from oven every 10 minutes and use a spatula to turn over and gently toss nut mixture so that it cooks evenly on all sides. Nuts are done when meringue is golden and butter is all absorbed. Cool completely before storing nuts in an airtight container.
Note: These sweet morsels make a great addition to a party platter. Make them days in advance and store them in an airtight container. They also make a wonderful hostess gift. Use a combination of nuts including walnuts, almonds, macadamias, pistachios and pecans.
Makes 5 cups