Every year, my mom, my sister and I get super excited about picking out appetizer, Christmas cookie and dessert recipes to make for our annual family Christmas party and Christmas Eve dinner. (Arguably the best parts of any meal!) This year as I was looking for an appetizer, nothing was really calling to me — I must have 17 recipes for hummus that I’ve never made, and I just wanted something that screamed YES!
I had forgotten all about the Bar Nuts.
You may not think of “nuts” as an appetizer, but I promise, once you make these, you will make them again every year (and probably for every other party you ever host again). They’re so salty and flavorful that you won’t be able to pry yourself away from the bowl.
Bar Nuts (from Union Square Cafe)
1/4lb each peeled cashews, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, pecans and whole unpeeled almonds (you can use peeled peanuts or walnuts also, but I don’t because I’m allergic — and you can also make it easier on yourself by just buying a 1.75-lb package of assorted unsalted nuts)
2T coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
1/4t (or more) ground cayenne pepper
2t dark brown sugar
2t kosher salt
1T butter, melted
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Toss the nuts in a large bowl to combine, and spread them out on a cookie sheet. Toast in the oven until light golden brown, at least 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the rosemary, cayenne pepper, brown sugar, salt and melted butter.
- When the nuts are fragrant and toasted, thoroughly toss them in the spiced butter mixture, check for seasoning (they may need more salt) and serve warm. (But PS — they are just as good room temperature as leftovers!)
I think I actually made these for two parties last year — Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve — because they’re the perfect salty snack to go with cocktails and champagne.
I hope you try it! I’m putting the ingredients in my Peapod cart right after posting.