You had me at cashews…
…but add the woodsy flavor of rosemary, a teensy bit of brown sugary sweetness and a little cayenne kick and these cashews take you to a whole new level.
I started making this recipe back when my boys were in grade school, in fact I think it was a recipe from the school cookbook. I made over 50 lbs worth of these delicious nuts over the years. If my memory serves me correctly I think it’s a recipe adapted from the wonderful Ina Garten and I’ve adapted them a bit more.
These cashews are the perfect hostess or neighbor gift. I like to buy the big bin of cashews from Costco (which is 2.5 lbs) and make up the entire amount*. After they’ve cooled I return them to the original container and keep them in my freezer to remove and warm at will or to place in a pretty jar or bag to give to a friend, hostess or neighbor.
Preheat your oven to 325°.
Start by spreading your cashews evenly on 1 or 2 baking sheets, trying not to crowd them.
*The recipe uses 1 lb of cashews, so adjust your amounts for the herb butter if you are using the entire 2.5 lbs.
TIP: I use the roasted and salted cashews as they are the most readily available and have already adjusted the salt in the recipe to accommodate the extra salt. If using roasted unsalted you may have to increase your salt slightly.
Place your cashews in the 325° oven for about 10 minutes until hot. Remove from oven but keep oven on.
Meanwhile, prepare your slurry.
Strip the wood stems of the fragrant rosemary leaves…starting at the tip of the sprig, squeeze your fingers along the stem and gently pull backwards, removing off the leaves.
Chop the rosemary leaves up as fine as possible. Measurements are approximate so if you get slightly less or more than 2 tablespoons, no worries.
In a small saucepan, melt your butter and add your brown sugar, cayenne, salt and rosemary, stir around over low heat for a minute.
Remove your hot, roasted cashews from the oven and pour them carefully into a large bowl.
Pour the rosemary butter slurry over the top…
Carefully stir, coating the cashews evenly with the slurry.
Once mixed well, return the cashews back to the baking sheets.
Return to oven and heat for 3-5 minutes.
Remove cashews when they look a bit “dry” (though they will still be glossy) and the nuts are a bit browned.
Remove from oven and allow to sit for about 5 minutes, cooling.
After 5-10 minutes, stir them around on the cookie sheets using a spatula and cool completely.
Return to container and freeze what you aren’t using or place in serving dish for immediate enjoyment.
To give as a hostess gift, place several scoops in a cellophane bag and tie with string, raffia or a pretty ribbon. Affix a tag and maybe even a leftover little sprig of rosemary. Or place in a small jelly jar or mason jar with a pretty ribbon tied on top.
- 1 lb roasted, salted* cashews
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
- ⅛-¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (up to ½ a teaspoon if you like it hot)
- 2-3 teaspoons light or dark brown sugar
- ½ - ¾ tsp kosher salt
- 3 Tablespoons butter, melted
- *if using unsalted cashews, increase salt to 2 teaspoons, to taste.
- Preheat oven to 325.
- Spread the cashews out on a large sheet pan (or two).
- Toast cashews in the oven until warm, about 10 minutes.
- While toasting, melt your butter and add the rosemary, cayenne, salt and brown sugar.
- Remove hot cashews from oven and carefully pour into a large bowl.
- Pour the slurry of butter, rosemary, etc over the top and gently toss them in the spiced butter.
- Return to pan(s) and bake until warm and a bit dry and brown, about 3-5 minutes more.
- I buy the large tub of salted cashews from Costco (2.5 lbs) and bake on two large cookie sheets, adjust the slurry recipe accordingly for the number of lbs you are roasting.
- Allow nuts to cool for 5 minutes, then using a spatula stir them around, scrapping up the good stuff and allow them to cool completely.
- Once cooled and may be frozen.
- To warm, return desired amount of cashews to small cookie sheet in a preheated 150-200 degree oven, heat until warmed through, about 4-6 minutes.
- Or you may place desired amount in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 30 seconds at a time, don't overheat they will get rubbery.
- May be served warm or room temp.