Perfect to go along with your Thanksgiving cocktails!
I love making handmade gifts for the holidays, and these bar nuts fit the bill perfectly: tasty, easy to throw together quickly, and gorgeous in a pretty jar or crinkly bag. Plus, they make your house smell hella good when they’re roasting! I made these for our Supper Club a few years back and they’ve been a favorite ever since; great with salads or alongside cocktails. Technically, they’re really not a ‘caramel,’ but the presence of sugar and butter together gives it that distinctive caramel-ly flavor. I fix up a few batches of these sweet-spicy-savory treats just before Thanksgiving and have ‘em on hand for football tailgating, hostess gifts, and impromptu cocktail parties through the New Year. For the mixologist in your life, snuggle a box of bar nuts alongside a great bottle of booze and some swanky mixers.
Bourbon Caramel Spiced Bar Nuts
2 ½ lbs. unsalted nuts (just pecans, or any combo you like)
3 Tbs. butter, softened to room temperature
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup bourbon
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 ½ Tbs. smoked sea salt (any variety, any color)
¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
1 Tbs. raw, turbinado, or other large-grained sugar (for finishing)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread nuts evenly out on a large rimmed cookie sheet.
To a very large mixing bowl, add all remaining ingredients except for the raw/turbinado sugar. Stir to combine well (it’s okay if the butter is a little lumpy, it will melt later).
Toast nuts on the center rack of the oven until they are fragrant and golden brown, about 10 minutes.
Immediately toss the nuts into the large bowl with the other ingredients and stir with a large spoon until evenly covered. Spread all of the nuts out in an even layer on the rimmed cookie sheet; sprinkle with turbinado or sanding sugar. After cooling for about 15 minutes, taste, and adjust with a little salt or spice to your liking. Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container for one month.
I recently served these nuts for a photo shoot on a piece I wrote for CityHomeCOLLECTIVE about Hot Toddies. Check it out!