We love to entertain and frequently have guests over for dinner. I don’t typically load folks up on appetizers beforehand but always like to have something to nibble on with a beverage while I get dinner on the table.
My Dad loved to snack on nuts and loved cashews, as does my Engineer. I’ve got a number of recipes for spiced nuts and sweetened nuts – this recipe brings all those wonderful things together. Start with raw cashews, which you can typically find at Farmer’s Markets or in the bulk food section of most markets. Roast the nuts until they are golden and crisp then toss with fresh rosemary, cayenne pepper, dark brown sugar and kosher salt all bound together in a bit of melted butter.
This is a takeoff on a recipe by Ina Garten, who writes and creates some of the most beautiful cookbooks. We do tend to like things a bit spicier and a tad sweeter in the South, so this turns up those flavors a notch or two. Feel free to adjust the sweet and spice to fit your palate.
Sweet and Spicy Roasted Cashews
2 pounds raw cashews
4 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
1-1/2 heaping teaspoons cayenne pepper
6 tablespoons dark brown sugar
4-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Spread the cashews out in a single layer onto rimmed baking sheets.
Roast for 12-14 minutes in a 375-degree oven, stirring after about five minutes. The last few minutes, stir every minute or so as they begin to brown.
In a large mixing bowl stir together the rosemary, cayenne pepper, brown sugar, kosher salt and melted butter.
While cashews are still hot begin adding them in batches to the butter and sugar mixture. Continue stirring to coat the cashews.
Add additional seasoning if needed and stir occasionally as nuts cool.