Tag Archives: Appetizers for Thanksgiving and Anytime

Sweet and Spicy Nuts – Perfect for Thanksgiving

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My inspiration for this recipe came from Barefoot Contessa. I make these and keep them in a baggie or a container. Awesome, thanks Ina. These nuts make the perfect appetizers, no one who eats nuts can resist. I also like mine with a little “kick”, you can manage the heat on these.


2 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil plus more for sheet pan

7 cups of nuts (you can break it up any way you want. You can do 7 cups of roasted mixed unsalted nuts or any other combination as long as they equal 7 cups. if you can’t find unsalted nuts, adjust the salt on this recipe as per direction below) 

1/3 cup pure maple syrup

1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed

3 tablespoons orange juice (fresh or container. fresh is always best (and one orange will do the trick,) but honestly no biggie.)

2 teaspoons ground chipotle powder–I use 2 teaspoons but if you really like them mild use a little less.

4 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves (divide 2 tablespoons for now and 2 tablespoons for later)

4 teaspoons Kosher salt (also divided 2 for now and 2 for later. don’t add second 2 teaspoons of salt if you bought salted nuts)

Preheat oven to 350

Brush a sheet pan (prefer one with sides) generously with vegetable oil (use a brush, love the silicone brushes)

First, combine nuts, 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, maple syrup, brown sugar, orange juice, and chipotle powder in a large bowl (I prefer a large metal bowl). Toss to coat the nuts evenly.

Add 2 tablespoons of the minced rosemary and 2 teaspoons of the kosher salt and give it a good toss (a large metal spoon works the best b/c it can get a little sticky with a wooden spoon.)

Spread nuts in a single layer on sheet pan.

Roast nuts for 25 minutes, stirring twice. You will want to take them out of the oven to stir them b/c they may slide off the tray. Use a metal spatula. Roast for the rest of the 25 minutes until nuts are glazed .

Remove from the oven, and sprinkle with remaining 2 teaspoons of kosher salt (only if they were unsalted) and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of rosemary.

Toss well and set aside at room temp.

While they are cooling, stir them up a few times b/c they may stick together.

Taste for seasoning. They really don’t achieve full flavor until they fully cool. So you won’t know how spicy they are until they sit for a while. I’ve made these a million times and can tell you that this amount of chipotle has kick, but not psycho hot.

Serve warm, or let them cool. Put them in a container and serve whenever you like. They stay good for a long time.

*just a note: you can adjust salt, rosemary, and chipotle to your liking. I have recipe for Union Square Nuts and they don’t have chipotle and are also delish but I prefer these b/c I love the heat of the chipotle!


Spicy Mixed Nuts – 2 Ways 2 Recipes – Perfect anytime Appetizers

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

Kosher salt

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.