Around the holidays, there’s one thing that most people seem to have, and that’s some sort of mixed or spiced nuts. They’re great for gifting, snacking, or for a quick and easy appetizer option. These cashews are our family’s nut of choice, and the one thing that I request year after year. They’re spicy, sweet, herbaceous, and I can’t seem to get enough of them. Lucky for me, this person is nice enough to make them for me.
So why am I giving you a recipe that would make your life easier during the holidays, on January 4th? Because as usual I’m about a week late, and I’m nothing if not consistent. Now you have all this time to think about next year!
This recipe could not be simpler, and the whole thing comes together in about 10 minutes.
We made these over Thanksgiving, and then again at Christmas, and both times they were huge crowd pleasers. In our family, everyone likes something to snack on while sitting around in the kitchen making dinner, and these were the perfect thing. If nothing else, they contributed to that Holiday Haze I was talking about.
These cashews are salty, sweet, spicy, and nutty. I guarantee you won’t be able to eat just a couple, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll polish off the last few handfuls in an airport waiting to go back to your 22 degree, snowy Boston home.
So what if the holidays are technically over. Remember that guy in the movie The Break-Up who answered the phone “Happy Holidays” in the middle of March? Let’s do that. There’s always some holiday coming up, just go to your local grocery store. They have an entire aisle dedicated to the next big day, which in this case is an explosion of pink and chocolate. Celebrate and make spiced nuts. It’s your world.
Here’s the recipe!
Sweet and Spicy Rosemary Cashews (A long time family recipe that was at one point adapted from Ina Garten)
- 1 pound lightly salted cashews
- 2 tablespoons fresh minced rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread cashews on a sheet pan in an even layer and roast for 10 minutes, until deeply golden and shiny. I like mine very toasty, but if you prefer them only lightly toasted, you can roast them for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine rosemary, cayenne, brown sugar, kosher salt, and butter into a paste. Set aside.
- When the cashews are toasted, add them directly out of the oven into the spicy butter mixture. Toss well to coat, then spread them out in an even layer onto parchment paper to cool, or serve immediately warm.