This is my original favorite nut recipe and it is from Union Square Cafe cookbook. It is the best. I have been making these nuts for years and people always ask for the recipe. I can’t take credit for it but I can add a few useful tips. To avoid the brown sugar being grainy, make sure that the nuts are hot when you mix them, mix well from the bottom of the bowl and follow directions below for the melted butter in the saucepan. The nuts taste best when they are cooled down for a long time and have sat out for a while. They will keep for a long time in an airtight container. This recipe is pretty quick and easy too.
*check out my other nut recipe Sweet and Spicy Nuts for Thanksgiving Recipe also on site.
I usually start with unsalted nuts. (1/4 lb. of each, but adjust to your liking. You can even use mixed nuts as long as your final count is 2 1/4 cups. Use cashews, walnuts, pecans, almonds, brazil nuts, etc.)
2 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp dark brown sugar
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Toss the nuts in a large bowl and spread them out on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven until light golden brown–about 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine the rosemary, cayenne, brown sugar, salt and melted butter. While nuts are hot, thoroughly toss the toasted nuts in the spiced butter. Allow to cool off enough for flavors to soak in.
*You can make this with all cashews
*You can melt the butter in a saucepan and add all ingredients right there. This may prevent grainy brown sugar. I like to do it this way.
*If you like a spicier version, add additional cayenne pepper
Second Recipe for Spicy Mixed Nuts:
Here is another recipe in the event that you don’t like rosemary.
1 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp mustard powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg white
4 cups mixed, roasted, salted nuts
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or use cooking spray (regular Pam is fine).
Mix the cayenne, cinnamon, ginger, mustard powder, sugar and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt in a small bowl. Whisk the egg white in a large bowl until frothy. Toss in the nuts, then add the spice mixture and toss until well coated.
Spread the nuts on the baking sheet with parchment paper. Bake until dry–about 45 minutes or so. Let cool completely on the baking sheet.
*If you like them with more heat, add 1-2 teaspoons of Chipotle chili powder to the spice mixture.