Spiced nuts are familiar bar bait, a salty tease calculated to inspire thirst. It’s a trap everyone falls for, every time.
At Eight Up, a new rooftop bar that sits, you guessed it, eight stories above the Louisville skyline, executive chef Jacob Coronado toasts cashews with a sticky spiced-honey glaze. Sesame seeds and coconut bend the flavors in a tropical direction, and there’s just enough cayenne to tame the honey’s sweetness. As good as these are the day they’re made, they taste even better 24 hours later.
Spiced Coconut Cashews
*Makes 1 pound, serves 6 INGREDIENTS:
1 pound Raw cashews
¼ cup Shredded unsweetened coconut
2 tablespoons Honey
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon White sesame seeds
1 teaspoon Black sesame seeds
½ teaspoon Ground mace
½ teaspoon Ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon Ground allspice
¼ teaspoon Ground ginger
¼ teaspoon Ground cayenne pepper
Heat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread the cashews and the coconut in an even layer in two separate pans and toast just until fragrant and beginning to brown, about 3 minutes for the coconut and 8 minutes for the cashews. Increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a small saucepan, warm the honey with the salt, white and black sesame seeds, mace, nutmeg, allspice, ginger and cayenne.
In a mixing bowl, combine the warm toasted cashews and the coconut with the warm honey mixture and toss until well combined. Spread the honey-coated nuts on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or Silpat and roast in the oven until well-browned, about 8 minutes.
Let cool and serve or store in an airtight container for up to three days.
Jan Newberry has been writing about food for more than 25 years. She was the food and wine editor of San Francisco magazine from 2000 until 2012, and her work has appeared in Food & Wine, Fine Cooking, and Bon Appétit. She is the co-author of several cookbooks, including The Brown Sugar Kitchen Cookbook, Bar Tartine and the forthcoming Gjelina.