We tried this out last year and were also pretty disappointed with the look of them, so my husband the cook doctored them up and came up with these comments:
"OK, here's what you do. You can use a can and a half of mixed nuts (about 1 lb) if you're feeling poor. Dust most of the salt off by rolling them on a terry towel. Use 2/3 c brown sugar, 1/2 tsp. cloves, egg white of a small egg, 4-5 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. ginger, 2 tsp vanilla. Otherwise, follow recipe. Bake 24 mins. Cool and dust with confectioner's sugar."
We did them that way and they were very good -- the confectioner's sugar gave them a different look and they worked very well for a holiday snack. The salt in the nuts helped to cut the sweetness.
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We tried this out last year and were also pretty disappointed with the look of them, so my...