I am still in full-on holiday baking mode. There are more parties and dinners to attend so my mind continues to flip through the old mental recipe box in search of great host gifts and party snacks. But my usually strong, almost never failing, annoyingly present sweet tooth has given out on me early. I can't take any more cookies or candy. This is a good time to bust out some spicy mixed nuts (with just a little sweet). I have made this recipe at least five times since my beloved Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten, released her latest cookbook, How Easy is That?: Fabulous Recipes & Easy Tips. Remember I gushed about Ina a while back? She is the bomb people. Approachable recipes, smiling face, amazing food of all kinds. You can't go wrong with her recipes. These nuts are easy, as in How Easy is That?. Just throw some ingredients on a baking sheet, toss and bake. The hardest part is trying not to loose any precious nuts on the floor when stirring.
Chipotle & Rosemary Spiced Nuts
Origin: Ina Garten
Notes: Chipotle Chile Powder is made of ground, dried, smoked jalapenos. I'm starting to see it popping up everywhere, you shouldn't have trouble finding it. Even this company, which seems to be available in every grocery store across Canada, has offered it up as a new release.
3 cups whole roasted unsalted cashews
2 cups whole walnut halves
2 cups whole pecan halves
1/2 cup whole almonds
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice (1 orange should do it)
2 teaspoons ground chipotle powder
4 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves, divided
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Brush a baking sheet generously with vegetable oil. Combine the cashews, walnuts, pecans, almonds, 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, maple syrup, brown sugar, orange juice, and chipotle powder on the baking sheet and toss to coat the nuts evenly. Add 2 tablespoons of the rosemary and 2 teaspoons of salt and toss again.
Spread the nuts in one layer and roast for 25 minutes, stirring twice with a large metal spatula while baking. The nuts should be glazed, golden brown and fragrant. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with 2 more teaspoons of salt and the remaining 2 tablespoons of rosemary. Toss well and set aside at room temperature, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking as they cool.
Serve warm or cool completely and store in an airtight container at room temperature.