I’ve made these rosemary maple roasted cashews for years at the holidays as gifts for clients, friends and family, and for catered parties. Each year, everyone goes crazy over them. I should call them crack cashews, because they are addictive and hard to stop eating. The perfect combination of sweet, salty, savory, spicy and crunchy.
Rosemary Maple Roasted Cashews
This holiday season, share a gift from your kitchen – rosemary maple roasted cashews. They are equally welcome as a holiday housewarming gift or for a game day snack when a crowd is over. I make lots each year as a thank you for the UPS guy, the mailman, the pool guy, plus of course friends. A homemade food gift that can be opened immediately, shared and enjoyed, is always welcome. Although some friends confessed that they hoard these and don’t share.
Real, Simple Ingredients
Stir together real, dark maple syrup (not the fake stuff), fresh chopped rosemary, brown sugar, olive oil, and spices, sprinkle with the salt, then bake for about 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. When cashews are cool, package them up in a nice jar, cellophane bag with ribbon or fancy gift tin. You’ll definitely be invited back.
Tips for Roasting Big Quantities as Gifts
Because I roast these in big quantities for holiday gifts and parties, here are a few tips. Depending on your oven space, do them in batches.
- First, I hope you grow rosemary. If you do these in large amounts it takes a lot of fresh rosemary.
- Second, rosemary can turn your nails green and leave your hands covered in sappy residue. It’s hard to wash off, even with hot soap and water. Wear disposable kitchen gloves. Use them when you strip the leaves from the stems.
- Third, for chopping a lot of rosemary, toss the stripped leaves into a food processor and pulse until the leaves are chopped. Rosemary is tough stuff.
- Lastly, when roasting large batches for gifts, you can fit about 3 pounds (a 3x batch) on two half sized rimmed baking sheets. DO NOT CROWD THEM. A double batch on even one half sheet is too much. If you crowd them you will get sticky gummy nuts not crisp ones when they cool
- And if you make that mistake and they are a gummy mess and not crisp (I’ve tried it!), spread them out onto an additional baking sheet and roast a few minutes longer. It works.
- When cool, break the nuts up by hand and pack into bags or glass jars and tie with ribbon.
Resource for Cello Bags (or use nice jars)
A great resource for inexpensive cello bags to wrap these in, Nashville Wraps. Sizes are as follows. The CC4M works perfect for giving a half pound bag. The next size up will hold more (C2BC). They offer lots of nice twists and ties as well. Tie with a pretty ribbon and be prepared for smiles.
Rosemary Maple Roasted Cashews
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons pure dark maple syrup
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- 1 tablespoon golden brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika or regular
- 1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle powder or cayenne pepper or more for more heat
- 1 pound raw whole cashews
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees (325°F convection)). Cover a rimmed baking with foil and spray with non-stick spray or use Reynolds Release non-stick foil which works even better.
- In a medium bowl, mix the maple syrup, rosemary, brown sugar, oil, and spices until smooth. Add cashews and mix to coat thoroughly with a large spoon or flexible spatula.
- Pour the nuts onto the baking sheet and bake for 18-20 minutes or just until you begin to smell them and they are golden brown. The timing will depend on your ovens.
- Remove the nuts from the oven and stir, turning them over with a spatula while they are hot to maximize the maple coating from the syrup that has pooled on the bottom of the baking sheet. Spread them out flat again and allow to cool.
- When nuts are cool, break them apart and store in a tight container for about 2 weeks.
Note - Do not crowd these when baking. If making multiple batches, spread no more than 1 1/2 pounds of nuts per half sheet baking pan. If you crowd them you will have sticky gummy nuts when thy cool instead of crisp ones.
This post was originally published in 2011, but I had problems with the link so had to republish! Good time to update it anyway. Hope you enjoy!