While i dont remember the details of the weekend, i distinctly remembered those nuts as they blew my mind... something that never would have occurred to me - doctoring up a can of mixed nuts - was SO good! its probably one of the moments i can pinpoint which led me to being the food-obsessed person i am now. (the other would be the first time Roopa cooked me dinner way back when we were still crazy single party girls...)
Katie's original recipe came from a Nigella Lawson cookbook and was Nigella's take on the Union Square Cafe bar nuts. Over the past 4 or 5 years, i've made rosemary-spiced nuts in varying ways - sometimes following Nigella, sometimes following any of the assorted other recipes you find when googling for spiced nuts or rosemary nuts.
After years of making so many variations, this version will be the one i stick to as this was the first time i didnt feel that i was missing something or had used too much of something.. They have enough heat without being over-powering. Enough rosemary without tasting like a bush. Enough sweet to satisfy my need for all things sweet. and enough butter to hold it all together but not so much that they make your hands greasy...
courtesy of google searches everywhere, as adapted by me
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~1 lb assorted mixed nuts, roasted but not salted (we used almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, pecans & hazelnuts, i think...)
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp light brown sugar1 tbsp white sugar
1.5 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped finely - a mezzaluna works wonders for this (note: dried rosemary will not work well in this recipe. If you cannot find fresh rosemary, my parents have a big bush of it in their backyard. They'll never notice if you steal some...)
1/2 tsp cayenne
2 tsp fleur de sel (or other sea salt)
1/3 tsp ground white pepper (i'm sure you could use black)
Preheat oven to 350°
Spread nuts on a baking sheet and toast ~ 7 minutes until just fragrant. (do not turn off the oven yet and dont put the baking sheet in the sink yet either)
while nuts are toasting, mix the butter & all of the sugar & spice in a saucepan. Heat all over medium heat, stirring, until the butter melts and all of the sugar & spice is well combined.
when nuts are done toasting, throw them in the sauce pan & mix to coat the nuts. continue mixing and 'cooking' for about 3 minutes.
Remove nuts from heat and spread back on the baking sheet. Put them back in the oven for 3 - 4 minutes to bake the butter into the nuts.
Serve warm or room temperature.