Back to Basics Nut Roaster

Back to Basics Nut Roaster
By: Lauren Keith
Just in time for all your Christmas get-togethers, I'm testing something you might want to buy, if it works. It's the Nut Roaster by Back to Basics. Normally, many people glaze nuts on a cookie sheet in the oven, constantly checking them and stirring them. But, this roaster claims you can glaze nuts on the stovetop in ten minutes or less. Is it that easy? Let's see.
That quick cooking time interests Shannon Brady--she's the kitchen director at the Cape Girardeau Senior Center.  It's not exactly "chestnuts roasting on an open fire," like the popular song implies.  In fact, the Nut Roaster doesn't say it cooks chestnuts, and our "open fire" is  an open flame, but close enough!
First, Shannon measures some pecans, dumps in the powdered glaze, and then notices the directions are different on the roaster and on the bottle of glaze.
"You have to switch back and forth which is inconvenient, but once you get the hang of it, and I'm sure it would go faster," says Shannon.
This glazing process is pretty quick. The powder turns into a liquidy glaze.
"They're kind of bunching up," Shannon notices as she stirs the nuts.  
We found if you switch directions, turning the opposite way, the nuts easily become un-clumped. You're also supposed to continuously stir.
"Can you stir for five minutes?" I ask Shannon.
"I guess!" she laughs. 
Luckily, it's not long after that, when we notice there's hardly any liquid left. That's when you're supposed to remove the nuts. Then you quickly spread them onto a cookie sheet, splash with a bit of water, and let them cool.
"That was very, very easy to do," says Shannon.
So far at least, and in the ten-minute time frame.  These pecans are very hot, so before tasting them, we're going to try to glaze some almonds with the toffee glaze.
"This one's taking a little longer," says Shannon.
Plus, there's a lot more liquid this time, even though the directions for both pecans and almonds are the same. We're guessing the pecans soaked up more of the glaze than the almonds.
"Do you think they're done? They're starting to smoke!" I tell Shannon.
Yup, folks, I burned the almonds.  However, I'm actually glad about that, this time.  Hopefully, my mistake will help you, if you decide to buy this nut roaster. As soon as you hardly see any liquid left, remove the nuts promptly! If you don't, you end up with one sticky mess! The mess I made is my fault; the nut roaster itself works great.
All right, so should you buy one of these for your Christmas party?
"I would normally not glaze nuts, I would just buy them already done.  However, if I had this, I would definitely try it at home," says Shannon.
Me, too. This $25 Back to Basics Nut Roaster serves up an "A" on this Does it Work test. You can buy it locally at Kohl's.  The roaster and glazes are sold separately.  FYI:  There are also recipes inside the roaster box instructing you how to make your own glazes, if you don't want to buy them separately.