Intro to Roasting: Nuts Edition

This mission is a quick and easy introduction to the ways of the oven. We start with a simple bag of unsalted nuts, toss them in butter, and play around with spices for flavor. Then we roast the nuts for a short amount of time. The result is gorgeously hued, crisp, amazing little morsels of deliciousness—you will never go back to eating nuts-from-a-can again, I promise.

Tools Needed:

  • baking sheet
  • oven

Ingredients Needed:

  • butter 2 tablespoons
  • mixed nuts 2 cups
Optional / Pantry Power-Ups:
  • salt optional
  • sugar optional
  • any spices you have optional

Lesson Gallery... Yum yum.

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  • I used Szechuan peppercorns and cayenne pepper and what seemed like too much salt (didn’t measure). Surprisingly, a lot of salt turned out to be the right amount of salt because they only coat the outside of the nuts. The flavor was vaaaaguely reminiscent of Szechuan appetizers because of the peppercorns. I kind of like it.

  • This nut-tastic nut blend is on the lighter side of toastedness, but the seasoning came out surprisingly well.

    Liquids: butter, honey, sriracha.
    Not-so-liquidy: black & white sesame, cumin, coriander, and salt.

  • This could have been a disaster, but thankfully this recipe is surprisingly forgiving. I felt like I was turning this into a ‘scrappy’ dish because I was checking all the nooks and crannies of my kitchen (and my brother’s car) for the ingredients. I used:
    – the last of some leftover old butter
    – 3 [different] mini-bags of complimentary nuts left by my brother’s friend in his car
    – some who-knows-how-old walnuts I found half-forgotten in a corner cupboard
    – store-bought plain peanuts b/c I didn’t have enough from what I found (these were probably the freshest ingredient from this list); sadly no mixed nuts were available at this store
    – leftover spices from that time I made gingerbread cookies for my friend in 2013 (i.e. brown sugar, ground ginger, [not-fully] grounded cloves, ground nutmeg, cinnamon)
    – ‘esencia de vainilla’
    I used a chopstick to do the mixing since I wanted as much of the spiced butter to get stuck to the nuts and as little of it to my tool of choice (for max flavor and calories, you know). The aluminum foil allowed me to scrape up the caramelized silhouettes left behind by the nuts, so thanks for that tip. (:
    In the end, I think my nuts needed more seasoning and maybe s’more sugar, but they sure tasted better than they did originally!

  • It’s nuts how tasty these are. I used chopped walnuts and almonds with sugar, cinnamon, and cloves. I wanted to use whole nuts but the closest grocery store didn’t have any. Next time I’ll hunt for whole ones.

  • These are quite delicious! I was a bit tentative adding spices to my butter mixture, so I ended up adding some more while they were on the pan. I’m glad they did. The sweetness of the sugar and the cinnamon flavor make them great. We will be enjoying these with ice cream tonight and waffles in the morning!