Yeah, I gave it a lot of thought and I still went with that title. No apologies. I had a request from a friend for “roasted nut” recipes, and I was happy to oblige. Not only is it easy to make new flavor combinations and interesting snacks, flavored nuts make a great holiday gift–and a much healthier option than cookies. I used a couple of methods here and made both a slightly-sweet and a savory version. Using these methods you can make a wide range of flavor combinations: cumin and coriander, smoked paprika and chipotle, honey and orange… Whatever you like.
The Rosemary and White Pepper Almonds are wonderful served warm as a party appetizer. For this method I dry-roasted the almonds in the oven and then tossed them with herbed butter. You can make these rather “wet,” like Marcona almonds are often served, or you can spread the buttered almonds out on the baking tray and leave them in the warm, turned-off oven for a while to dry them out a bit. I love them both ways.
For the slightly-sweet batch I went with walnuts and a Five Spice coating, very lightly sweetened with honey. Since I wanted the honey to caramelize a bit I tossed the walnuts with the spice mixture and then roasted them.
For this batch I melted a tablespoon of butter with a tablespoon of honey, and then stirred in a teaspoon of five spice powder and a pinch of salt. I tossed the walnuts in this mixture to coat, and then spread them out in a single layer on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes, stir, and then bake for another 3-5 minutes. They will still be a little damp when they are roasted, so I leave them on the baking sheet after I remove them from the oven, and after about 15 minutes they will be cool and glazed.
This is such an easy food gift, and also a great thing to take to parties.
Rosemary and White Pepper Almonds
- 2 cups raw, whole almonds
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2-3 tablespoons snipped, fresh rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the almonds out on an ungreased baking sheet, so they are in a single layer. Bake for 5 minutes and then stir the almonds. Bake for another 3-5 minutes, or until the almonds smell toasty. Be careful to avoid burning the almonds.
- While the almonds are roasting, melt the butter with the rosemary, salt, and white pepper. When the almonds are roasted and are still hot, toss them with the butter mixture until well coated. Either serve them right away, or spread them out on the baking sheet and leave them in the warm, turned-off oven for about 15 minutes to dry them out a bit.