One neat trick thing I learnt is that a little egg white will make the spices and whatsoever (salt, sugar blah blah blah) to "stick" to the nuts. Simply lightly froth half an egg white and pour it into the mixture before sending off the nuts into the oven makes so much difference!
Updated with the recipe @ Jun 25:
Spiced Nuts(Fills 3-4 jars)
1-2 tbs vegetable oil (preferably Olive)
1 cinnamon stick
4-5 star anises
3 cup of raw almonds (or any other nuts like cashew)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp each of powdered chilli, cumin and cinnamon spices
1/2 - 1 white, lightly beaten with fork until it froth - no need for mixer.
1. Heat the oven to 160 deg C.
2. Heat oil in a wok together with cinnamon stick and star anises. When you smell the fragrance, turn off the fire and add salt and sugar. Add the raw nuts, stirring well to ensure even coverage. When the mixture and wok is cool (important cos you do not want to cook the egg white), add the egg white and mix it evenly. You may not need all the egg white.
3. Scatter powdered spices over the nuts & stir for even coverage.
4. Place nuts on an oven tray, spreading them out. Roast for 15 minutes or so. Keep a close eye on them as they burn easily.
5. Switch off the oven but leave nuts inside for another 5min. Remove and allow nuts to cool before storing them in clean jars. The nuts will harden upon cooling.
6. Wrap a Christmassy ribbon round the neck of the jars and you have a healthy gift to give away this season
Note: While honey or maple syrup may make the powdery spices "sticks" to the nuts, it will get very sticky (read: messy) as you eat. Using egg white is a