Thursday, January 19, 2012

Spiced Nuts of Dreams

I made these sweet and savory cashews for a recent gathering of friends. One friend said that she had a dream she would be eating these cashews the night before the party and then she got to my house and there they were.

They are that good.

They are even better with a glass of sparkling wine like Domanie Chandon blanc de noirs (white wine made with pinot noir grapes) which is fruity but dry and in my opinion good with everything.

To make you need:
  • 1lb Raw Unsalted Whole Cashews* (I buy mine at Trader Joe's where they are also not too expensive)
  • 1/4 Cup Honey
  • 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder (The kind that is a blend of ground dried peppers and spices like cumin, cloves and garlic powder. If you have to substitute cayenne or chipotle powder add in some cumin and garlic powder.)
  • 1/4 Cup Turbinado Raw Cane Sugar (Also purchased at Trader Joe's but available in the health food section of Wegman's and the baking aisle of Whole Foods. You can substitute regular white sugar but not brown sugar, you want grainy sugar not clumpy sugar.)
  • 2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt (If you can't find unsalted cashews then use less salt)
  • 2 large sheets parchment paper.
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Spread cashews in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.
  3. Roast for approximately 10-15 minutes checking frequently after the 10 minute mark for even golden brown color. Nuts burn easily so don't walk away from them.
  4. While nuts are roasting, mix honey and spices in a large heat proof bowl (glass or metal).
  5. Pour roasted nuts into honey mixture and toss to coat. 
  6. Spread honey and spice coated nuts onto a parchment lined baking sheet (same one from step 2 is fine, no need to dirty an extra dish.)
  7. Roast honey and spice coated nuts in 350 F oven for another 10 minutes until golden brown and bubbling.
  8. While nuts are roasting for the second time, mix sugar and salt in another large heat proof bowl. (metal or glass)
  9. These next steps must happen in quick succession for best results. Also be really careful since hot and sticky can cause a bad burn. As soon as nuts come out of the oven scrape them into the salt sugar mixture and toss to coat. Spread in a single layer on a new clean sheet of parchment paper and allow to cool.
  10. Nuts hold on to heat for a long time and the sugars take time to set so let them cool for a good 10 minutes before consuming. Or just eat them and burn your mouth.
*I like raw nuts the best because they give you more control over salt and roast level. If you can't find raw nuts use what you can find.  

Raw Cashews:

Roasted cashews with honey and spice:

Finished Product!

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