Here’s another simple little edible gift, that can easily be packaged up in jars and distributed to your friends and family for the holidays. This recipe is inspired by a sweet and spicy nut mix that my friend AnnElise was once famous for in our circle of acquaintances. It was her favorite thing to bring to parties and potlucks, and I would always make sure to station myself by the bowl as soon as she walked in the door. Then AnnElise up and moved to Ohio and I lost my spiced nut source. After suffering through months of cravings, I pulled myself together and made my own.
This particular glazed nut recipe isn’t too sweet, but I think balances the forces of sweet, spicy and herb-y (from the rosemary) nicely. I can’t stop eating it and that’s always a good sign.
It’s a quick little thing to mix up (I managed to make it on Wednesday night, after getting home from work right around 9:30 p.m.) and the active time is less than ten minutes. In one pot, melt together butter, maple syrup, a tiny scoop of cayenne and a couple palmfuls of dried rosemary.
In another larger pot (Dutch ovens work nicely here) or skillet, toast the raw nuts until they develop deep brown speckles (turn them constantly and watch like a hawk, nuts burn fast). When the nuts are sufficiently toasted, pour the butter/maple syrup mixture over top and toss to coat. Then spread the nuts out on silpat or parchment lined, rimmed cookie sheet and roast at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.
The minute you take the nuts out of the oven, sprinkle a couple of pinches of crunchy salt (kosher, sea or flaky Maldon work best) over the top, so that it adheres. Once the nuts are cool, pack into jars or bags. Careful that you don’t nab a handful or two each time you pass the pan, as soon you’ll realize that you don’t have enough for all the gifts you’d planned. Not that I did anything like that. Nope. Not me.
Official recipe after the jump.
- 5 cups of raw nuts (I like peanuts and cashews, but any combo works)
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons real maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons crushed dried rosemary
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (depending on how spicy you like things)
- 2 teaspoons crunchy salt
- In a large skillet or Dutch oven, toast the nuts over medium heat, stirring frequently so that they don’t burn.
- In a small saucepan, melt butter and maple syrup together. Once melted, add rosemary and cayenne.
- When the nuts are toasted (when the vast majority have darkened spots), pour the butter mixture over the nuts and toss to coat.
- Spread the glazed nuts out on a silpat or parchment lined cookie sheet (makes for far easier clean up) and roast in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, depending on your desired level of roast.
- When you take the nuts out of the oven, sprinkle the salt over the top, so that it adheres to the still-sticky nuts.