These sweet and salty candied nuts with rosemary make for a delicious snack and the perfect accompaniment for cheese boards, charcuterie plates, fancy salads and trail mixes.
This addicting candied nut recipe can be used with all of your favorite types of nuts and requires just a few other ingredients. The rosemary is optional but recommended for a subtle hint of savory flavor that makes these nuts perfect for pairing on cheese and charcuterie boards.
- Raw nuts (shelled, un-roasted and unseasoned)
- Egg white
- Granulated sugar
- Kosher salt
- Rosemary - fresh rosemary is preferred for its aromatic oils. If using dried rosemary, reduce by about ⅓.
- Black pepper
- Cayenne - optional for a very subtle kick of spice.
Holiday Worthy Cinnamon Variation - In place of cayenne pepper, a dash of ground cinnamon gives these nuts a warm and festive flavor.
What Type of Nuts Should I Use?
This recipe can be used for any of your favorite nuts (or seeds). For this mixture we used peanuts, pistachios, pecans, almonds and macadamia nuts.
Other nuts that work well for this recipe include walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts, pine nuts and even pumpkin seeds.
I especially love this recipe made with pecans because the ridges in the nuts cling to lots of the salty candy coating and the natural buttery flavor is divine!
Pro Tip: Size Matters! - This recipe works best with nuts that are roughly the same size. Tiny pine nuts, for example, will toast faster and may burn while cooking the other nuts.
If using a mixture of nuts of greatly varying different sizes, (like pine nuts and Brazil nuts) you can roast them separately to ensure they are all cooked to ideal toasty perfection.
How To Make This Recipe
First start by making the rosemary flavored salt. For the best results, make this flavored herb salt in a coffee or spice grinder. Alternatively, this can be achieved with a sharp knife and some will power!
1. Add 1 Tablespoon of kosher salt and fresh rosemary leaves to a coffee or spice grinder. Grind until the rosemary has been completely pulverized and evenly dispersed through the salt.
Pro Tip: Everyday Herb Salt - This method of making herb salt is a fabulous way to preserve fresh herbs. You can make flavored salts with an endless combination of fresh herbs as well as garlic, dried chilis and citrus zest. Once dried, the flavored salts are shelf stable for months and can be used to season anything from meats, to veggies to popcorn and candied nuts!
2. The fresh rosemary salt will be moist from the rosemary's natural oils. (That's where all the intense piney aromas and flavors come from!) Add the rosemary salt to a small bowl and combine with the sugar, black pepper and cayenne (or cinnamon, if using). Use your fingers to massage the rosemary salt into the mixture until evenly dispersed.
3. In a large mixing bowl, vigorously whisk an egg white until it is frothy.
4. Add the nuts to the whisked egg whites and toss until completely coated. Then, add in the rosemary seasoning mix and toss until completely coated in that, too.
5. Prepare a sheet pan with non-stick cooking spray. (I like to use a sheet of parchment paper for easier clean up.) Transfer the nuts onto the tray and arrange in a single layer.
Bake the nuts in a 325° Fahrenheit oven for 10 minutes. Carefully stir the nuts, rotate the pan and continue baking for an additional 10 - 15 minutes or until the nuts are toasted golden and aromatic.
6. Allow the nuts to cool completely. If necessary, use your hand to break up any larger clumps of the candied nuts that may have stuck together. Enjoy by the handful!
These nuts are fantastic on their own - I love munching on a handful as a satisfying protein-packed snack. They're also great in recipes, here are a few serving suggestions:
- Cheese & Charcuterie Boards
- Snack & Trail Mixes - Try this recipe in our Parmesan Chex Mix recipe.
- Salads - A few candied nuts add so much crunch and flavor to salads.
- Holiday Snacking - I love having a bowl of these out for midday snacking throughout holiday gatherings and feasts!
- Sweet Potatoes - Adding a few of these chopped candied nuts on a buttered sweet potato makes for a decadent holiday-worthy side dish. These are also delicious as an alternative topping to our Pumpkin & Sweet Potato Soup.
Saving & Storing
After cooling completely, candied nuts can be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for 2 weeks or, preferably, in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
For a longer shelf life and to preserve the freshness of the nuts, we recommend freezing the nuts for up to 2 - 3 months.
Did You Know? Keeping Nuts Fresh - Contrary to popular belief, the pantry is not the best place to store your nuts. Nuts are highly perishable and will quickly turn rancid and/or bitter when exposed to light, humidity or heat.
To ensure optimal freshness, it is recommended that you store nuts in the refrigerator (for up to 6 months) or in the freezer (for up to one year). Since nuts have a very low water content, freezing will not effect the taste or texture of your nuts.
Frequently Asked Questions
Candied nuts that are warm from the oven will have a soft and chewy texture. However, when fully cooled they should be dry, crisp and crunchy.
If your candied nuts are still soft and chewy after cooling, they likely A.) not baked long enough B.) stored while still warm or C.) exposed to humidity or heat.
To fix your soggy nuts, simply rebake them at 325° Fahrenheit, stirring occasionally for an additional 10, or so, minutes. The additional baking should help cook off any excess moisture and re-crisp your nuts.
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Rosemary Candied Nuts
- 1 Spice or Coffee Grinder
- 4 ½ Cups raw nuts pecans, walnuts, peanuts, cashews, almonds, pistachios, and/or macadamia nuts
- 2 Tablespoons fresh rosemary (3 grams fresh rosemary) OR 1 teaspoon rosemary powder
- 1 Tablespoon fine kosher salt*
- ½ Cup + 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons Freshly-ground black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne powder OR ground cinnamon *optional
- 1 large egg white
- Non-stick cooking spray as needed
- Arrange a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325° Fahrenheit (110° celsius).
- In a spice or coffee grinder, combine salt and fresh rosemary leaves. Grind until the rosemary is finely distributed throughout the salt. (If using dried rosemary powder, Skip to step 3.)
- In a small bowl, combine rosemary salt, sugar, black pepper and cayenne (or cinnamon), if using. Rub the rosemary salt into the mixture until evenly distributed. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, vigorously whisk the egg white until frothy. Add the nuts and toss until evenly coated in egg white. Add the sugar and seasoning mixture and toss again until evenly coated.
- Prepare a half sheet pan with non-stick cooking spray. Arrange the coated nuts on the sheet pan in a single layer. Bake for 10 minutes. Carefully stir the nuts, rotate the pan in the oven and continue baking for 10 - 15 minutes or until the nuts are toasted and aromatic.
- Allow the nuts to cool completely. Use your hand to break up clumps of nuts that have stuck together. Enjoy by the handful.
* A Note About Salt
Unless otherwise noted, all recipes on The Sage Apron are developed using Diamond Crystal Kosher salt. It is a great all-purpose salt for cooking and baking. If using table salt, reduce quantities by about half.