Making honey roast nuts has been my first venture into the world of cooking-with-kinda-caramel, and here’s what I learnt.
* Don’t put pecans covered in a hot sugar-butter-honey mixture straight from the oven, into your mouth. Au revoir tastebuds, it’s been nice.*
* Clean everything that comes into contact with the caramelly stuff immediately, or else you’ll glue everything you own to the work surfaces and it won’t be too fun getting them off.*
* Don’t ignore the first two rules, no matter how delicious the cashews and pecans smell when fresh from the oven and no matter how bored you are of washing up. Future Rosie (most likely come back to read and make this recipe sometime in winter ’14), this one’s for you.*
But enough rules now, let’s get to the goods!
And oh man, are these good?! Crunchysweetsaltybuttery all at once (new word, note it down) and basically the most moreish things I’ve ever made. The cashew ones were *crazy* good, and the pecans would be amazing smashed up and crumbled over good-quality vanilla icecream as a light Christmas dessert. They’ll keep well for about four weeks in an airtight container, so feel free to make them now for inclusion in a Christmas hamper in a few week’s time.
1 1/2 cups raw, unsalted cashews
1 1/2 cups raw, unsalted pecans
1/3 cup honey
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees celsius, and line two baking trays with tin foil.
2. Put the honey, butter, cinnamon, and half the salt into a saucepan, and melt gently over a low heat until smooth and combined.
3. Divide the honey mixture between the two types of nuts, mix well to ensure the nuts are evenly coated, and then tip onto their respective baking sheets. Spread them out into a single layer so that they cook evenly.
4. Roast the nuts for 15-20 minutes, until the honey mixture has thickened and coats the nuts like a caramel. Stir every five minutes throughout cooking to make sure the nuts roast evenly. I found the pecans took a scant 15 minutes to cook, and the cashews around 17 odd minutes.
5. Take the nuts out of the oven, and once they’ve cooled for a minute or so divide the remaining half teaspoon of salt and the 1/4 cup granulated sugar between the pecans and cashews. Allow to come to room temperature, stirring frequently to ensure they don’t stick together or to the baking trays.
6. Store in airtight jars or similar containers for up to four weeks.