This was my first batch of homemade roasted nuts, and I am officially a believer. You will be, too. Regular ol’ bulk mixed nuts (I found unsalted, unroasted mixed nuts at Trader Joe’s) are transformed by a few herbs and spices into a completely new dish, served warm, and perfect for holiday get-togethers. This version uses chipotle and fresh rosemary, a flavor combination that never would have occurred to me in a thousand years. The chipotle and maple syrup provide an interesting, if somewhat predictable contrast, but the charred bits of rosemary and chunks of kosher salt introduce a brand new flavor, that you never quite see coming, and that ends up tasting like a hot bowl of Christmas.
The only thing that’s a tiny bit tricky is that you must work quickly and confidently to keep the nuts from melting into a giant, sticky mass. It’s pretty easy, once you get the hang of it; cook the nuts in a single layer on a well-oiled baking sheet, and then, when the nuts are cooling, remember to give them a quick toss with a spatula every 2-3 minutes, or until the nuts’ coating firms up and turns into a spicy shellack.
Chipotle and Rosemary Roasted Nuts
Adapted from a recipe by Ina Garten
- Vegetable oil
- 1 pound mixed nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, hazelnuts, brazil nuts, or any combination), unsalted and unroasted
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 4 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 teaspoon ground chipotle powder
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, minced, divided
- Kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Coat a baking sheet with a generous amount of vegetable oil. In a bowl, toss mixed nuts with one tablespoon of vegetable oil, the maple syrup, light brown sugar, orange juice, and chipotle powder, until coated evenly. Add one tablespoon of the rosemary, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and toss again.
- Transfer the nuts to the prepared baking sheet and spread out into a single layer. Roast for 25 minutes, pausing twice in the cooking time to stir the nuts with a metal spatula before arranging back into a single layer, until the nuts are glazed and golden brownSpread the nuts in one layer. Roast the nuts for 25 minutes, stirring twice with a large metal spatula, until the nuts are glazed and golden brown. Remove from oven and sprinkle with another teaspoon of salt, and the remaining minced rosemary.
- Toss well and set aside, stirring every few minutes to prevent the nuts from sticking together as they cool. Taste for seasoning. Serve warm, or let cool completely.