You get two recipes for the price of one today! First we have cashews tossed with brown butter and sage, and then there are cocoa-dusted cashews for those of us with a sweet tooth. Neither recipe takes more than a few minutes to bring together, making this our new favorite snack for holiday get-togethers.
We started out wanting to do something with sage and brown butter — two flavors we love this time of year that also love each other. Because we like the pinch of brown sugar in these rosemary cashews, we decided to add a tiny bit of honey to these.
The cocoa nuts were a complete afterthought. We'd had packaged cocoa-dusted cashews before and decided to give it a whirl (after we figured out that powdered sugar would add sweetness and also stick to the nuts). Grand total of ingredients? Three. Four, if you count the pinch of salt. Seriously, these take minutes to make.
These roasted nuts are really at their finest when they are still slightly warm from the oven. Which is perfect, since I always seem to be scrambling for a last-minute snack to serve with cocktails just before the guests arrive. They are equally good on their own or served with a selection of cheeses and dried fruits.
This said, I've also made these nuts ahead and taken them to parties for host gifts. They lose their "fresh from the oven" crispness, but are just as addictive and tasty. -Emma
Heat the oven to 350°F. Toast the cashews on a baking sheet for 5-8 minutes, until they are warm and fragrant.
In a small skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Continue cooking for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring, until the butter begins to turn golden brown and smell nutty. Add the sage and cook, stirring, for another 1 to 2 minutes, until the butter is dark golden and the sage is frizzled but not burnt. Remove from heat and add the honey.
Toss the cashews with the butter mixture and sprinkle with salt while still warm.
Cashews are best when still slightly warm, but will keep in a sealed container for up to a week.