It’s here people. Crunch time. This is your week to bake or cook your way out of small gift madness. Let’s review some options: We have, of course, the standby Crackle, and the more grown up Guinness and dark chocolate version. We have easy as pie (crust) cookies and jars of salted caramel cholliesauce or honey thyme walnuts. And speaking of nuts…we now also have an updated riff on sweet and savory roasted nuts.
Sadly, I have no kill switch when it comes to sweet and spicy roasted nuts. Until now the men in my house have allowed me to make them, give them and sample (hoard) them with no interference. This year, however, when I made these for Thanksgiving they disappeared before they were cool enough to hide. Either the locals’ tastes have evolved or this recipe is just that good. It calls for fresh rosemary, maple syrup and cayenne—standard issue stuff amongst us nut fans. What takes them over the edge is the amount of rosemary (lots) added both before and after baking. Oh, and flaky sea salt. No secrets here.
They’re sweet but not too sweet, and have enough heat to get your attention but not in a scary way. Best of all, there are no egg whites or other fussy things involved. Yes, those are angels singing. You’ve got to get fresh rosemary—I’m not letting you off the hook there—but you can use a mix of whatever raw nuts strike your fancy. Pictured is the full walnut monty, but a mix with pecans, almonds and/or cashews is divine. Love the one you’re with, baby.
Make a lot so you don’t have to be stingy with your family. It’s so close to Christmas and all.
Spicy Rosemary Maple Nuts
- 1 pound unsalted mixed nuts (cashews, walnuts and almonds are delish)
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary, divided
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons flaky sea salt or kosher salt, plus more to taste
- Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, toss mixed nuts with melted butter and maple syrup. Add 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary, dark brown sugar, cayenne pepper and 2 teaspoons flaky sea salt, mixing until the nuts are well coated . Spread nuts out onto a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake until glazed and golden (about 18 – 20 minutes), stirring twice during the cooking process.*
- As soon as the nuts come out of the oven, season with an additional 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary, and flaky sea salt to taste (I added an additional 3/4 teaspoon). Serve warm immediately or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
- Set the timer and If your oven runs hot, be sure to check the nuts a bit early. Nuts can turn on you and go from golden to bitter if you ignore them.
Up next: What if you find out Santa is gluten free….and you only have access to a mini mart? Got ya covered.