Chipotle & Rosemary Nuts

December 8, 2011

Chipotle & Rosemary Nuts

Takes care of 8-10 names on your gift-giving list!

Ingredients

Vegetable oil
3 cups whole roasted unsalted cashews (14 ounces)
2 cups whole walnut halves (7 ounces)
2 cups whole pecan halves (7 ounces)
½ cup whole almonds (3 ounces)
⅓ cup pure maple syrup
¼ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
2 teaspoons ground chipotle powder
4 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves, divided
Kosher salt

Directions

Brush a sheet pan generously with vegetable oil.

Combine cashews, walnuts, pecans, almonds, 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, maple syrup, brown sugar, orange juice, and chipotle powder on the sheet pan. Toss to coat the nuts evenly.

Add 2 tablespoons of the rosemary and 2 teaspoons of salt and toss again. Spread nuts in one layer.

Roast nuts for 25 minutes, stirring twice with a large metal spatula, until the nuts are glazed and golden brown.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle with 2 more teaspoons of salt and the remaining 2 tablespoons of rosemary. Toss well and set aside at room temperature, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking as they cool.

Taste for seasoning. Serve warm or cool completely before storing in airtight containers at room temperature or filling gift bags.

Mexican Hot Chocolate

Serves 4-6 ready to relax holiday shoppers

Ingredients

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate or Mexican chocolate tablets
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons instant espresso granules (Café Bustello or similar brand)
1 ¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon chile powder
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
4 cups milk
½ teaspoon almond extract
Cinnamon sticks, for garnish (optional)
Sweetened whipped cream (optional)

Directions

Combine chocolate, sugar, espresso granules, cinnamon, salt, orange zest and 1 1/2 cups water and mix in a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.

Stir in milk and almond extract; reheat but do not boil. Remove saucepan from stove; whisk hot chocolate until foamy.

Pour into mugs. Garnish with cinnamon sticks, whipped cream, and chocolate curls, if desired.

Directions for gifting:

Place the following ingredients in a clear glass jar or even a decorative Ziploc baggie:

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate or Mexican chocolate tablets
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons instant espresso granules
1 ¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon chile powder
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest

Include the following directions attached on a decorative tag:

To enjoy this festive holiday beverage, simply pour dry ingredients into a saucepan, add 1 ½ cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer 5 minutes. Then slowly add 4 cups of milk and ½ teaspoon of almond extract. Garnish with whipped cream and enjoy!

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