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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

NYC Vegan Tour: Candied Nuts

I'm pretty sure candied nuts are a year-round New York City street corner favorite but I especially think they fit in well with the holiday season; they remind me of "chestnuts roasting on an open fire..." They're a street food that's a little classier than pretzels with mustard and the holidays make me want to be a little classier than everyday.
This is a doubly New York food because although candied nut recipes abound, I opted for this recipe from the Union Square Cafe cookbook, which adds a bit of cayenne AND rosemary! The Union Square Cafe is a well-known restaurant in the city that's been around since 1985 and is very involved the NYC food community. There were a couple mixed reviews on the recipe, but I love rosemary so I rolled with it.


I doubled the recipe (except for the rosemary and salt since I was using salted Earth Balance), so as to be able to share. The nuts I used were cashews, walnuts, almonds, and pecans. It's incredibly easy, makes yr house smell incredible, and really impresses people. The recipe says they're best served warm, which I can see being great if yr at a bar with some wine, but I really liked them best the next day when the (vegan) butter had cooled and hardened up with the brown sugar.
I brought a cupful to my friend last week who told me he spent the next night scraping the sugary/salty/spicy/rosemary-y dust out of the container and into his mouth. Hahaha. So, win, I think. Hey! These'd also make a good food gift since holidays are coming up, ya know.

24 comments:

  1. Aha! And thus explains all the nuts bought at TJ's several weeks ago!

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  2. Yum! These would certainly be addictive! I'll have to try them both warm and cooled the next day - you know, just to have an honest opinion of them. ;)

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  3. This has long been one of my favourite quick recipes to makes for parties and gifts, though I once binged on it after my 22nd birthday party and had to steer clear for six months or so! Insanely good.

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    1. Oh yeah I totally ate more than my share. It is too easy to make!

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  4. Rosemary?!!? BRILLIANT!! The NYC candied nuts hold a special place in my heart. When I was a kid my family and I (my immediate family as well as my aunt, uncle and cousins) would pile into cars and head into the city to see the tree in Rockefeller Center on Christmas day. We went every Christmas for years. Every year we'd stop and grab the candied nuts as a snack while braving the cold and they were SO GOOD. Those were way before my vegan days obviously but it's a fond memory :) And it's part of the reason I LOVE this post. I can't even imagine how amazing the rosemary is in this recipe. Yay! And you are so right, these would be a perfect food gift!

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    1. That's such a nice memory. I don't think I've ever actually been to the Rockefeller Center around Christmas! I thought you might like this post. I hope you make and enjoy them. They're awesome to share but you should taste some too :)

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  5. Cool! We grew peanuts this year and harvested last week, and I was wondering what would be the best recipe for making them extra delicious. I'll try this one!

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    1. How exciting! I've never heard of anyone growing peanuts! (Well, besides Jimmy Carter.)

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  6. Candied nuts are totally holiday-esque, I should really make some to give as gifts. And when people are scraping off the seasoning dust, you know you have a winner - ha ha. :)

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    1. Good, I was hoping people would go along with the holiday vibe... haha.

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  7. I love homemade (edible) gifts. But, I'd probably eat them all...

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    1. Okay, so you make some for me and I'll make some for you and we'll just both eat each other's present.

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  8. Candied nuts are so so so good--I wish we had a random person selling them downtown here. I'd eat a million if that were the case. (Who needs money & a proper waistline?) I think my rosemary bush wants me to make a batch, I can sense it.

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    1. You guys are so impressive with yr homegrown peanuts and yr homegrown rosemary...geez! Yes, do it up!
      And, I think about this time no one should worry about a proper waistline.

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  9. Every time I get nuts off one of those carts, they always taste funky. I think making your own, like you did, would be way yummier. :)

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    1. Funny, I've never actually tried the nuts but they smell soooo good.

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    2. ?!? You've never tried the nuts?? Its the best $2 snack ever- get the cashews- literally nuts and sugar. Best right then still warm. And i've seen a few lately with chestnuts
      This version with rosemary sounds so fancy/amazing
      Ttrockwood@yahoo.com

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    3. mmmm roasted chestnuts are SO delicious. I'm a little afraid of street food though...

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  10. Yum!! I love that there's cayenne in them. These sound fantastic!

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    1. Yeah, they're not too spicy, though. I think it's a great spice/flavor blend.

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  11. Rosemary is such a wonderful addition to roasted nuts. These sound amazing, and the fact that your friend was eating the dust? Well, that makes me want them even more!

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    1. I've never had em with rosemary before! But yeah they are great.

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