A local French bistro near us serves these fabulous peanuts when you first sit down and order cocktails. Our favorite drinks to pair with them are kir royales (champagne with crème de cassis) or chilled rosé. After a bit of experimenting we easily recreated our own version of these at home.
The trick is to start with the right variety of peanuts so that just enough spices stick to deliver the subtle yet addictive sweet and spicy flavor. What works best are blister pack peanuts (available at your local Trader Joe’s). If you look at them closely they have just a tiny shine on their surface (their natural peanut oils). We tried using the dry roasted variety, but the spices did not stick very well.
Here is the super simple recipe. Toss the peanuts together with the spices in a bowl. We use about 2 teaspoons per pound of peanuts. You can start with less and add more to taste. You want a just light dusting of spice on the peanuts. Shake out any excess spice and serve.
We use Spice Parisienne which is a mixture of ginger, nutmeg, clove, white pepper, allspice, and thyme. This is a classic French blend of spices. It has a wonderful depth of flavor with just a bit of a kick from the white pepper and nutmeg. You can also use Quatre Épices (literally French four-spice) or your own blend. For a bit more heat, add a tiny amount of cayenne pepper to the spice blend before mixing.
Make sure cocktails are served, say cheers and enjoy!