One for the Weekend

May 20, 2011

Friends, it’s Friday.  This week I baked breakfast treats for an office of 55 people.  I taught a Thai cooking class to a super fun group of 10 and, the next night, taught a farmers’ market special class to another super fun group of 11.  I’m a little tired.  My kitchen is a little messy.

These are clean.

These are not.

But who cares?  It’s Friday and the sun is shining and we have a party to go to tonight and another to go to tomorrow night and I imagine you might have plans as well.  Need some nuts?

I make all kinds of cocktail nuts.  I make them to give as gifts around the holidays, I make them for parties that I cater, I make them so that I always have a nibble on hand when unexpected dinner guests come by.  I do really love the smoky cashews and still make them often but truthfully, they can be a bit of a struggle.  The topping doesn’t stick as well to the nuts as I would like it to.  Which is why I am really digging this recipe.  These beauties get perfectly coated, perfect crisp.  Not too sweet, salty and quite spicy.  You should probably make some this weekend.

Winner of the Patricia Wells book will be announced on Monday along with one last giveaway.  Oh!  And many of you have asked about the three Indian cookbooks I mentioned in that post.  One is a gorgeous book from the Cinnamon Club – an amazing restaurant near Victoria Station in London.  The food is very fine and the recipes are a little intense.  Not really every night type of cooking but amazing nonetheless.  That one you can find on Amazon.  The other two are both from Rasa – a much more casual but, in my mind, even more delicious place where I first learned about the glory that is South Indian food.  I have cooked many times from both books and they are terrific.  The New Tastes of India and Fresh Flavors of India.  Also available on Amazon.  I don’t make any money by directing you to them – they are just the easiest source for books that might be hard to find in this country.

One Year Ago:  Lighter Fettucine Alfredo and Curried Tofu and Avocado Dip
Two Years Ago:  Peanut Butter Cup Brownies and Raspberry Almond Bars (I was just telling this Dave Matthews story last night.)

Spiced Cocktail Nuts
Makes about 3 pounds

You can, of course, play around with the nuts you use in the mix and you can also halve the recipe.  If you don’t love spice, I would cut the amount of cayenne in half.  I may have thrown in a pinch of smoked paprika as well.

3 sprigs fresh thyme
2-inch sprig fresh rosemary
2 tbsp. light corn syrup
1 tbsp. + 2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tbsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup raw almonds
2/3 cup raw cashews
2/3 cup pumpkin seeds
5 1/3 cups raw peanuts

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, a non-stick liner, or foil.

Pick the leaves from the thyme and rosemary sprigs, and chop the leaves coarsely.  In a mixing bowl, combine the thyme, rosemary, corn syrup, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper, and mix well.  Add all the nuts and mix thoroughly with your hands or a wooden spoon.

Spread the nuts evenly on the prepared baking sheet.  Roast, stirring a few times with a heatproof spatula or a wood spoon to ensure the nuts color evenly, until they are fragrant and a rich brown, about 15 minutes.  Let cool completely.  The nuts will keep in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 2 weeks.


  1. You’ve been busy! Enjoy your weekend! Nuts always make a great snack.

    Comment by Maria — May 20, 2011 @ 7:23 pm

  2. I will most definitely be making these this weekend…thanks!

    Comment by alison — May 20, 2011 @ 7:23 pm

  3. that mess? NOTHING!!!

    Comment by tracy — May 20, 2011 @ 7:30 pm

  4. A weekend of parties and sunshine sounds lovely. Have fun!

    Comment by Anna — May 20, 2011 @ 7:51 pm

  5. I am sitting here with my soon to drink cocktail (it’s 5 o’clock somewhere….) eating cashews, looking at my stove w/ the stainless steel bowl, Le Creuset Dutch oven, Pyrex glass pie dish, all waiting to be put away.

    What time are you coming over for drinks?

    Comment by stacey snacks — May 20, 2011 @ 8:04 pm

  6. Girl, that’s nothing! I had 12 people over on Saturday night and I didn’t do dishes until Tuesday. Yes, I’m ashamed.

    But nuts! I love the sound of these – spicy and sweet and flavoured with herbs? Sounds delicious.

    Comment by kickpleat — May 20, 2011 @ 8:47 pm

  7. I love roasted nuts! I have a recipe very similar to this, but it doesn’t have corn syrup. I think the addition of the sweet with the spicy is great. Thanks for sharing this recipe; I’m going to have to try it out!

    Comment by Mandy Minette — May 20, 2011 @ 10:20 pm

  8. Just made them…they are cooking and are making the house smell wonderful.
    Happy Firiday Dana!

    Comment by toni — May 20, 2011 @ 11:26 pm

  9. I now definitely see why you have a moratorium on cooking going on. But apparently that doesn’t apply to cocktail nuts…which works for me! These look like the perfect snack to have on hand! And thanks so much for the cookbook info…definitely going to order them.

    Comment by Joanne — May 21, 2011 @ 12:26 am

  10. What a busy week you had. What a perfect snack for the week-end.

    Comment by Helene — May 21, 2011 @ 5:06 pm

  11. These look yummy, I wish I had some right now!

    Comment by melinda ke — May 21, 2011 @ 10:13 pm

  12. Thanks for the names of the Indian Food cookbooks…off to Amazon :-)

    Comment by EileenQ — May 21, 2011 @ 10:36 pm

  13. I think that you should do a post on how you can do so much in a week. The thought of teaching classes, throwing dinner parties and taking care of two children boggles my mind. I would love to hear how you plan, organize, etc.

    Comment by linda — May 21, 2011 @ 10:56 pm

  14. You are one busy mama! Look at you go! So I’ve been thinking about you lately…coming to Seattle tomorrow night for a hot minute (this time around: too short!) but will be back VERY soon and we must get together. Miss you; love how you’re taking off in your new business ventures. xoxox!

    Comment by Megan Gordon — May 23, 2011 @ 6:09 am

  15. Love your stove! And that small glimpse into your kitchen.
    I would love to see more of it…! (And yes, how do you do it all?)

    Comment by Annika — May 23, 2011 @ 12:25 pm

  16. This looks delicious! I’ve just recently experimented with teriyaki almonds and found roasted nuts to be a great flavorful snack to keep in the car! We have an upcoming road trip, so I’m glad to have found this recipe!

    Comment by Nisha — May 24, 2011 @ 5:43 am

  17. Those sound fantastic! Never apologize for amazon, you can truly find everything on there, usually for cheaper than anywhere non-local!

    Comment by Cynthia — May 25, 2011 @ 3:52 am

  18. I love making cocktail nuts for parties, and now I don’t remember this recipe from Tartine. I’m running to look at the book again now. Thanks for inspiring me to grab that off the shelf!

    Comment by lisaiscooking — May 25, 2011 @ 8:13 pm

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