With Christmas now a recent memory, it is time to think about New Years Eve. Wait – let’s reflect back to Christmas for a few moments. First, it is one of my favorite times of the year. The air is crisp along with a certain happiness running in harmony with the husltle and bustle of the season. Yes, the shopping malls are crowded but that is half the fun. It is the time to gather with family and friends to celebrate the season and be thankful.
Not to break with any tradition, we gathered at my parents house to celebrate Christmas. My hubby and I joined my parents, my sister and her hubby plus my two nephews and her hubby’s twin brother along with my brother and his wife and my other two nephews to celebrate this very special day. With the spotlight on my four adorable nephews, it was all about Mater from the Cars movie, the longstrike from Nerf, xbox 360 games and everything legos.
We enjoyed many laughs, silly jokes, great stories and newly created memories that we can all reflect on for years to come. Unfortunately due to a “spare the air day”, we were unable to enjoy a roaring fire that my Dad traditionally tenders continuously, so instead we had the infamous “yule log” playing on the big screen television. Not quite the same, but none the less, we had our time-honored Christmas fire.
Since I am on vacation, I have been catching up on my recorded Martha Stewart
episodes and I was intrigued by a simple spiced nut recipe from chef Thomas Joseph
. I have made several spiced nut recipes over the years, but the idea of adding brown butter was simply brilliant. I altered the recipe a bit and thought I would share with all of you to enjoy. This would be a terrific starter for your New Years Eve cocktail party. Happy Holidays!!
Brown Butter Nuts with Rosemary and Thyme
4 C. Pecans
4 C. Cashews
5 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 teaspoon Cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
10 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only, chopped fine
6 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves only, chopped fine
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place nuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast until brown and fragrant, 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat until melted. Continue cooking until butter becomes fragrant and golden brown, taking care not to burn. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together sugar, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, thyme, and rosemary; mix in brown butter. Add nuts and toss to combine. Return nuts to baking sheet and transfer to oven. Bake until nuts are semidry, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
Can be stored for about 2 weeks in an airtight container.