These nuts are a little bit famous. I have made them every year for the past ten years or so, only at Christmastime, and everyone loves them. Back when I had no idea what I was doing in the kitchen, I followed Ina Garten’s recipe, but have since adapted it to my recipe over the years, and I have just recently settled on my favorite version.
These nuts are the perfect appetizer to any holiday meal or party. I bring glass jars of these nuts every year to my kid’s teachers as holiday gifts and I always get rave reviews. If you are looking for a delicious festive snack that your kids will love, or maybe you need some last minute holiday gifts, I’ve got you covered.
Baking these up only at Christmastime really makes them special, I look forward to making them all year. As soon as the Thanksgiving dishes are dried, my family starts asking me “Are you making the nuts soon?” Let’s just say that I’m three batches down already and probably going to squeeze in a few more before the year is over. ‘Tis the season.
- 2 cups raw cashews
- 2 cups raw walnuts (halves only, not pieces)
- 2 cups raw pecans (halves only, not pieces)
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground chipotle chili powder
- 1 tsp salt (plus extra for sprinkling at end)
- ¼ cup fresh squeezed grapefruit juice (from about 1 medium grapefruit)
- ¼ cup chopped fresh rosemary (do not substitute dried rosemary here)
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with Silpat or parchment paper.
- Pour all nuts onto the baking sheet, it should be full but not overly so, if your pan seems too crowded, use two pans.
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter, and then add in the maple syrup, cinnamon, chipotle powder, salt, grapefruit juice, and rosemary.
- Pour the contents of the saucepan over the nuts, and using your hand, mix it all together, making sure all of the nuts are coated. There will be liquid pooling at the bottom of the cookie sheet, and this is fine, it will get absorbed as it bakes.
- Put the pan in the oven, and bake the nuts for around 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so. Watch closely near the end so that they don't burn.
- As soon as you take the pan out of the oven, sprinkle with a few pinches of salt, and stir again. You will want to stir these a few times as they cool so they don't stick together. Let cool completely before storing in glass jars.
- This recipe fills 5 pint-size Ball jars.
Tip: To chop rosemary, first rinse the sprigs with cool water and shake them dry. Then, turn them upside down so the needles are pointing up and holding the stem in one hand, run your thumb and first finger of your other hand down the length of the stem. All of the leaves will slide right off. Discard or compost the stems. I used 6 full size sprigs to get 1/4 cup chopped leaves.