Well, folks, the countdown is really on now! And I’m not talking about the end of the world tomorrow; no, my friends, this is waaaaaaay bigger than that. I’m talking Christmas!
With Christmas falling on a Tuesday this year, we end up getting a four-day weekend (word). But, it also cuts down on that little window of time you get for last minute gifts to coworkers, teachers, and all the other random people who you won’t be spending the holiday with, but who help make your life easier in countless ways, and who you want to acknowledge in some small way.
Today I want to share a quick, easy, recipe that you can make in big batches, bag or jar up into portions, and keep on hand for last minute gifts to all those special people. It’s about as simple as you can get, and so addictively delicious!
The spice mixture is totally adaptable, you can use any combo of sugar/salt/spice/herb, in whatever ratio will tickle your tastebuds. I personally, like a pretty even balance of salty and sweet, with a slight kick of smoke and heat, and a little herbal freshness and/or citrus punch. This blend has such a great Christmasy flavor! And cashews are my favorite kind of nut (actually legume, to be exact), but this works for any nut or mixture thereof. You can print or save my favorite recipe at the bottom of the post, but first, here’s the lowdown on how it goes together.
Begin by mincing two small sprigs-worth of rosemary leaves very finely, and combine them in a small bowl with brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, smoked paprika, ground clove, and the zest of one clementine. Next, give the egg white and water a little whisk, just to break it up a bit. Place the cashews in a large mixing bowl, pour the egg whites and spice mixture over, and toss to coat. Spread the whole business out on baking sheets, and bake for an hour and a half, stirring every 30 minutes, at 250 degrees. It’s that simple, ya’ll!
It makes a beautiful presentation in a little mason jar, tied up with pretty ribbon. I add a cupcake liner between the top and the ring thingy, to make it extra pretty. And a gift tag is always a nice touch.
Or you can just set them out in a dish for your Christmas guests to nibble on…
…or just shovel them into your own mouth by the fistful…
…not that I would ever do a thing like that.
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons finely minced fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- zest of 1 clementine orange
- 2 egg whites
- 1 tablespoon water
- 6 cups cashew butts
- Combine the first seven ingredients in a small bowl.
- Whisk the egg whites and the water together.
- Place the cashews in a large bowl, and add in the egg white mixture and the spice mixture.
- Toss to coat.
- Spread on a lined baking sheet, and bake for 90 minutes at 250 degrees, stirring every 30 minutes.