This Union Square Café nut recipe is a no pain change to healthier eating habits. Rather than serving processed foods during the holidays, consider this protein packed alternative. This is the best in show of munchie satisfaction (Joanne Chang's Spectacular Spiced Pecans are a close second). Tree nuts such as almonds, cashews, and walnuts help lower cholesterol and decrease the risk of certain cancers. Some people eschew nuts because they believe nuts are too caloric and high in fat. However, the benefits of nuts in the human diet significantly outweigh these concerns. A handful of nuts provides protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Cashews boost brain power, pecans defend the arteries, walnuts fight inflammation, almonds decrease blood sugar, and the selenium in Brazil nuts inhibits cancer cell growth. Go ahead and make this part of a nutritious noshing resolution.

Kitchen Notes
These nuts will keep for 2 days in an airtight container. Great cold, spectacular heated up in the oven for a few minutes before serving. The easiest and fastest foolproof way to peel hazelnuts: boil water in a small saucepan. When roaring, add hazelnuts and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and boil 1 minute. Drain, cool and rub off the skins. 


  • 1/4 pound each peeled peanuts, cashews, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, and whole unpeeled almonds or 1 1/4 pounds unsalted, assorted nuts

  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary

  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne

  • 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Toss the nuts in a large bowl to combine and spread them out on a cookie sheet. Toast in the oven until they become light golden brown, about 10 minutes.

3. In the large bowl, combine the rosemary, cayenne, brown sugar, salt, and melted butter.

4. Thoroughly toss the warm toasted nuts with the spiced butter and serve warm.

Makes 5 cups