Especially good with a glass of something in the late afternoon or after dinner, these easy-to-make spiced nuts are better than anything available at the store. I was inspired by Ina Garten’s take on spiced nuts and came up with the following recipe. I like it with Harvest Legacy, an apple brandy blended with cider that is made by Swanson’s Mountain View Distillery in the Bitterroot Valley. Look for something similar in your area.
- 4 cups of unsalted nuts (almonds or a combination of one or more of the following: whole roasted cashews, whole walnut halves, whole pecan halves)
- 3 Tbsp. maple syrup (or malted barley, or agave necter)
- 2 Tbsp. lightly packed brown sugar
- 1-1/2 Tbsp. orange juice
- 1 teas. smoked paprika
- 1 teas. chili powder
- 1 Tbsp. orange zest
- 2 Tbsp. minced fresh rosemary leaves, divided
- 2 teas. table salt, divided
Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees. Layer a sheet plan with parchment paper.
Combine nuts, syrup, sugar, juice, paprika, chili powder and orange zest in a bowl. Toss to coat the nuts evenly. Add one tablespoon of minced rosemary leaves and one teaspoon of salt and toss again.
Use a slotted spoon to transfer the nuts from the bowl to a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Spread the nuts out into one layer. Set the timer for 10 minutes and put the pan in the oven. When the timer goes off, take the nuts out and stir with a wooden spoon and put back in the oven. Reset the timer for 10 minutes and repeat. After you take out the nuts a second time (20 minutes total) check to see if the nuts need more time in the oven or if they are done. If you need to, put them back in for 5 minutes. Make sure they don’t burn.
When the nuts are done remove the pan from the oven and add one more tablespoon of minced rosemary and one more teaspoonful of salt and toss well. Set aside until the nuts cool a bit, stirring occasionally to keep from sticking. Serve warm or at room temperature. Stored in an airtight container, these will keep for up to two weeks.
These nuts are also good chopped coarsely and sprinkled over salads.