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Nutty Snacks for the Holidays

Rosemary Roasted Cashews Christmas tray

Nuts–walnuts, cashews, pecans, almonds–make yummie holiday treats. This is Rosie’s dee-liciously easy Rosemary Roasted Cashews. She ‘borrowed’ the recipe from our friend Mary Margaret a while back, and it’s now her go-to recipe for quick gifts and snacks.  Update: One of my readers Tina Mark shared that she had made this recipe at Thanksgiving. Since this wasn’t posted yet, I inquired of her recipe source. We found the recipe by Ina Garten on a post by Leite’s Culinaria (I’ve since adjusted the seasoning amounts). So it’s a much-loved, popular recipe.

Another of our favs is Rita’s crunchy Sweet Salty Bitter Glazed Nuts. Then there’s Spiced Nuts (recipe below) that’s part of Rosie’s Peaches & Cheese Salad. Each recipe uses a slightly different method to prepare the nuts. All three are easy — the way we like it at Get Cooking Simply!  And we can all use simple and easy during the holidays.

Print This Recipe

Rosemary Roasted Cashews

Heat oven to 350°F.
Spread 1 pound raw whole cashews (about 3-3/4 cups) on a baking sheet. (Rosie lines the baking sheet with parchment paper for easy transfer of the hot nuts off the pan). Roast for 15-20 minutes, turning several times until golden brown.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, microwave 1 tablespoon salted butter until melted. Stir in:

   1 generous tablespoon very finely chopped fresh rosemary
   1 tablespoon (packed) dark or light brown sugar
   1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (increase if you like more heat)

The herb mixture will look a little dry; that’s ok. Add hot cashews to the bowl as soon as they are toasted. Stir and stir until cashews are cool and coated with herb mixture. The trick is to stir while the nuts are still hot so the rosemary sticks to them.  Let cool completely in bowl.

Spiced Candied Nuts
A dip in hot water before coating the nuts allows the sugar to melt and evenly caramelize when the nuts are roasted.

1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon table salt or 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cups combinations of pecan and walnut halves
3/4 cup pistachios, optional (or additional 3/4 cup pecans or walnuts)

Heat oven to 350°F. Mix sugar, salt, allspice and cayenne in a small bowl. Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat; add nuts. Let stand 30 seconds; drain in a colander. Return nuts to saucepan. Stir sugar mixture into hot, wet nuts. Line a baking sheet with foil and coat with cooking spray. Spread nuts evenly onto pan. Bake at 350°F about 15 minutes until toasted and glazed, stirring every 5-6 minutes. Cool completely and store in airtight container.

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