Thursday, December 22, 2011
Rosemary Spiced Nuts
Cookies, cookies everywhere, but not a salty snack in sight. While I am a big fan of all things cookie, candy cane and chocolate bark, sometimes a girl just needs a little crunch and savory goodness to get her through the hectic days before Christmas.
Our lady of entertaining, Ina Garten, to the rescue. In pure Barefoot Contessa fashion, this recipe is simple, quick and a crowd-pleaser. Whether you are looking to round out your stocking gifts with a few more little edible treats, or you are heading to your great aunt’s house for a pre-midnight mass cocktail party, this should be your go-to recipe.
What I love most about this recipe for spiced nuts (besides how delicious and easy they are) is how adaptable it is to what you have on hand. Don’t have a huge bin of cashews lying around? Bump up the pecans or almonds. Have a random container of hazelnuts taking up space in the pantry? Throw them on in. Don’t have chipotle powder in your spice rack? Try Spanish paprika or ancho chili powder. Stick with the general guidelines of the recipe, and you’ll be fine. The most important parts of the recipe are the brown sugar, fresh orange juice (though I’m sure you can use what’s left in the carton, too), the rosemary and salt. Oh, and the nuts. You do need nuts to make spiced nuts. Ok then.
This year I even thought ahead enough to pick up cute little bags for this exact purpose, but brown paper bags, cellophane, a little box, parchment or wax paper will also work well. Tie it up with a pretty bow and you are ready to roll!
P.S. These nuts would also make a great snack for a New Year's Eve party. Sweet and spicy nuts go GREAT with bubbles!
Rosemary Spiced Nuts
Recipe by Ina Garten, from Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That? Fabulous Recipes & Easy Tips
3 cups whole roasted unsalted cashews
2 cups whole walnut halves
2 cups whole pecan halves
1/2 cup whole almonds
1⁄3 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
2 teaspoons ground chipotle powder (or another spice, like ancho chili pepper or Spanish paprika)
4 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves, divided
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Brush a sheet pan generously with vegetable oil, or cover with parchment paper. In a large bowl, add the different kinds of nuts. In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, the maple syrup, brown sugar, orange juice, and chipotle powder (or other spice) and mix well. Pour the mixture onto the nuts and toss well. Add the chopped rosemary and 2 teaspoons of salt and toss again.
Spread the nuts in one layer on the baking pan. Roast the nuts for 25 minutes, stirring twice with a large spatula, until the nuts are glazed and golden brown. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with 2 more teaspoons of salt and the remaining 2 tablespoons of rosemary.
Toss well and set aside at room temperature, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking as they cool. Taste for seasoning. Serve warm or cool completely and store in airtight containers at room temperature.