Wednesday, November 10

Thanksgiving Addictions, I Mean Traditions: Sweet and Spicy Rosemary Nuts

sweet and spicy rosemary nuts DSC_0007

Ever since Jeff and I moved to Southern California seven years ago, my parents have flown from Rhode Island to celebrate Thanksgiving with us.

Each year about a week before they leave, Mom calls and asks,"Do you want us to bring anything? Bread from Buono's? What about some soppressata from Venda's?" After taking down our requests, she invariably asks me one question: "Is Jeff going to make those rosemary nuts this year?"

I make the turkey, the stuffing, the cranberry relish, the vegetables and all the desserts. But what do my parents want to know? If Jeff is making the rosemary nuts.

These Sweet and Spicy Rosemary Nuts have become such an integral part of our celebration that none of us can imagine Thanksgiving Day without them. Jeff makes them early in the morning, enticing us with the aromas of earthy rosemary and sweet honey.  We traditionally serve them drinks before dinner. When there's about half a bowl left, we take turns, saying, "Put them away. I've had enough."

Then as the day goes on, each of us dips our hand into the bowl for another mouthful. Somehow, unbelievably, we think the other three don't notice. Then when we sit down to dinner, my mom looks at all the food on the table and says, "Oh, I'm so full. I ate too many of those rosemary nuts. Next year I'm not going to do it."

Then the next year she does. And we all follow suit.

Sweet and Spicy Rosemary Nuts
Serves 10-12
Printable recipe.

These rosemary nuts are sweet, spicy and salty, everything a snack food should be. They're quite versatile when it comes to drink pairings, though they taste extra sweet with a dirty martini and extra spicy with a full-bodied, malty beer.

6 cups unsalted mixed nuts, such as almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, and pistachios
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup light brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons sea salt
4 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary, divided

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Coat a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Place nuts in a large mixing bowl.

2. In a small pan over medium-high heat, add honey, brown sugar, cayenne, salt and 3 teaspoons rosemary. Heat until the sugar dissolves and the sauce is syrupy. Pour over the nuts and toss until evenly coated. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, turning once, or until nuts are golden brown. Keep an eye on them so they don't burn! Remove from oven and sprinkle remaining 1 teaspoon rosemary over nuts. Cool. Break into small clusters. Store in an air-tight container for up to one week. Though they'll never last that long.

You might also enjoy these addictive recipes:
Maple Walnut Popcorn recipe from Food Blogga
Ginger and Honey Roasted Almonds recipe from Purple Foodie
Crostini with Prosciutto, Goat Cheese, and Fig Jam recipe from The Italian Dish


Cookin' Canuck said...

We make this same recipe (though ours doesn't have honey) and it is fantastic. This mixture also works really well on roasted chickpeas.

Unknown said...

yum, sounds delish and I totally get the "addiction" thing!

Jessica @ How Sweet said...

These would last about 60 seconds in my house.

The Food Hunter said...

I love making these kinds of spiced up nuts and you're right they are so addicting

Joanne said...

These look absolutely fantastic in every way. I see a bowl of these disappearing into my stomach this holiday season.

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

As an old southern gal, I grew up eating roasted nuts such as these. Great recipe and I adore rosemary in it.

Cara said...

totally bookmarking this one! What a nice twist on traditional candied or spiced nuts.

Jersey Girl Cooks said...

I love these nuts. I make a recipe that I think is very similar from the Union Square Cafe.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

ccanuck-My mom would love the chickpeas only. I'll have to try that.

susiebee-It's easy to! ;)

jessica- Hehe.

foodhunter-You just can't stop yourself.

joanne-Trust me. It happens quickly and easily.

sam-Oh, I'm sure you do. Nothing like Southern pecans and peanuts.

cara-I'm glad to hear it!

lisa-Aren't they great?

Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary said...

Wow those look tasty. I smiled when I saw Buonos Bakery. I worked with Frank Buono (father of the owner) for many, many years. He would bring bread to our office every week. He passed away a few yrs ago. I miss him (and the bread).

Courtney said...

Mmm, this sounds like an amazing snack, especially with rosemary! I'll have to try it out :)

Shaheen {The Purple Foodie} said...

I love the sound of this! I just can't get enough of roasted nuts and I like to use the holiday season excuse to eat as much as I'd like!

Courtney said...

Mmm, this sounds like an amazing snack, especially with rosemary! I'll have to try it out :)

AllThingsYummy said...

I received your book today to review. It's so great. I'll be posting about it this weekend.

cindy said...

ooooh, they sound wonderful...and my family has a thing about rosemary, (doesn't like it) so i could have them all to myself!

homegrown countrygirl said...

I love this!! Especially the addition of rosemary! Would make fantastic gifts, too. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe.

The Teacher Cooks said...

I loved your story and I am sure that I am going to enjoy these sweet and spicy nuts!

Alanna Kellogg said...

This would make a great food gift for the holidays! I'm keen on nuts too, have several go-to recipes I've collected over the years, one for pecans, two for almonds -- but none for mixed nuts!

Janae said...

This was a funny post! I look forward to trying this recipe, thanks.

Julie said...

I made these for pre-Thanksgiving snacks and they were so amazingly addictive. We fought over the last ones, and I've already been ordered to bring them on Christmas. I'm thinking they would make a pretty gift for neighbors, teachers, etc.

Thanks for another great recipe, Susan!

Caitlin said...

Thank you for this recipe! I made these nuts for our Thanksgiving gathering this year, and they were a huge hit!