Wednesday night was the latest in the monthly series* of cooking classes I teach at Whole Foods. This time, I officially felt famous.
*Not that there is a theme, other than “Sarah talks about her food favorites and weird events from her life for 45 minutes and ‘cooks’ for 15.”I liked to think of my class as Giftable Goodies, mostly for the alliteration, and the opportunity to use a noun as a verb.I thought that I’d let my ‘students’ take a more hands-on approach this time, and my Build-Your-Own-Bark plan worked out to be quite fun……even if my vision of everyone sitting neatly at their tables with a perfectly cut piece of wax paper in front them onto which I spread even amounts of melted chocolate for them to stud with an assortment of nuts, dried fruit, and coconut didn’t happen exactlylike I thought.
I made a full batch at home for tasting, and showed everyone how easily a glaze can come together for any nuts you choose. [I do recommend almonds, walnuts, and pecans because they have ridges for catching flavor...and they are delicious. ]
The particular glaze I made was based in the sweetness of orange juice and maple syrup.
Simply coat the nuts and spread them out in a baking pan or on a cookie sheet.
Baking for 15-20 minutes, stirring at regular intervals to prevent scorching,* produces a toasty roasty scent-fully delicious treat.
*Be careful about letting orange juice drip into the pan, because the sugar in it will cook very quickly!This is a great, oil-free and vegan method for flavoring nuts, but you can also coat them with cooking spray, coconut (or other) oil, egg whites, or, of course, butter. It’s as simple as taking your favorite seasoning blend–curry, Italian/Tuscan, blackening or BBQ [or perhaps Dill Pickle? ]–and adding it to coated nuts. The possibilities are ENDLESS.
Orange Maple Rosemary Spiced Nuts
- 8 cups assorted raw, unsalted nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds)
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 1/2 tsp. dried chopped rosemary
- 1 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 tsp. ground mustard
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. finely ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together orange juice, maple syrup, and spices.
- Add nuts, stirring well to coat.
- Spread nuts onto a metal pan coated with cooking spray.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, stirring regularly, until nuts are fragrant and toasty.
- Allow to cool in a single layer on wax paper or paper towels. [They will crisp up a bit as they cool.]