I’ve been performing an experiment on the people who live in and visit my home. They have no idea what I’ve been up to. My husband, sister and friends are like mice lured by the warm aroma of peanut butter, walking right into the trap.
Except in this case there really is no trap. And the nut butter is actually just a jar of these sweet, salty, spicy, herb-scented nuts. And I’m not trying to kill them, for goodness sake, just trying to see if they like the snack I’ve set out for them. And guess what, folks? They like it. A lot.
I like to keep jars of nuts on the kitchen semi-island at my house. Like in most homes, that’s where people seem to beeline as soon as they walk in the door. It never fails that both the visitors and residents are happy to see something there to munch on. And I love to see that people feel so comfortable in our little home that they just pop open the jar without a second thought and begin crunching away.
I start with a mix of raw cashews, almonds and pecans.
Spread them out on a baking sheet and roast for about 10 minutes, until the nuts are golden brown and aromatic. Stir them at least once during their time in the oven.
In the meantime, warm the spice mixture over medium-low heat.
Butter. Cayenne. Rosemary. Sage. Maple Sugar.
Pour the spice mixture over the nuts and stir to coat them evenly. Put them back on the baking sheet in a single layer and let cool at least 2 hours before putting into jars.
Watch your friends and family walk into your trap. Er, eat the nuts.
Sweet & Spicy Nuts
These nuts are seriously spicy because of the full teaspoon of cayenne pepper I put in the spice mixture. We find the burn to be quite addictive. But, if you or your guests can’t take the heat, use just a 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne to keep the flavor and a slight kick without the fire. Don’t worry. No one will think less of you.
1 cup raw cashews
1 cup raw pecans
1 cup raw almonds
3 tbsp butter
1 tsp cayenne pepper (feel free to use less)
1 tsp maple sugar (brown sugar can be used instead)
1 tsp minced fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp minced fresh sage
1/2 tsp flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread nuts in a single layer on a parchment lined jelly roll pan. Roast until golden brown and fragrant, about 10-12 minutes, stirring halfway through.
Meanwhile, put butter, cayenne, sugar and herbs in a small saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, whisking as butter melts.
Put warm nuts in a medium sized bowl and pour spice mixture over them. Stir to coat evenly and season with salt. Spread nuts in an even layer on the baking sheet once again and let cool at least 2 hours before putting into jars. But feel free to sample them long before that.