Whenever I’m in one of those “meet the parents” or “meet the best friends” or “meet the co-workers” situations, I avoid cooking at all costs. Unfortunately, someone usually has mentioned that I have a food blog at said situations, so it’s expected that I wow the crowd.
A girl can’t handle that kind of pressure!
See, this is the same reason I avoid cooking for guys on the first couple dates – I don’t know what their tastes are and I worry that I’d be too nervous to pull it off. And nothing would be more hurtful to my ego than a date disliking something I’ve prepared. It’s become my “thing.” What’s my hobby? Cooking. But not on the first date (except on one occasion that I’ll describe soon).
One way I’ve been able to avoid this nervousness, especially during the holidays, is to make some really simple finger food. Extra points if it is simple AND unique. Just like Ina Garten’s chipotle and rosemary spiced nuts.
My dad first made this as a snack over Thanksgiving, and I knew I wanted to make it for one of the Christmas parties I was attending this holiday.
First of all, what is better than roasted pecans? Nothing. Add cashews, walnuts and almonds sweetened with maple syrup and spiced up with ground chipotle peppers and piney rosemary, and you have my attention. This smoky-salty dish has been a huge hit wherever it’s appeared and I know it will become a holiday staple.
Chipotle-Rosemary Spiced Nuts
- Vegetable oil
- 3 cups whole roasted unsalted cashews (14 ounces)
- 2 cups whole walnut halves (7 ounces)
- 2 cups whole pecan halves (7 ounces)
- 1/2 cup whole almonds (3 ounces)
- 1⁄3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 teaspoons ground chipotle powder
- 4 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves, divided
- Kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Brush a sheet pan generously with vegetable oil. In a large bowl, toss the cashews, walnuts, pecans, almonds, 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, the maple syrup, brown sugar, orange juice, and chipotle powder. Add 2 tablespoons of the rosemary and 2 teaspoons of salt and toss again.
Spread the nuts in one layer on the sheet pan. Roast the nuts for 25 minutes, stirring twice with a large spatula, until the nuts are glazed and golden brown. 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. Taste for seasoning. Serve warm or cool completely and store in airtight containers at room temperature.
Enjoy, friends! xoxo