Bourbon baked cashews

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Many moons ago, at the weekend, me and Mr A would take a stroll around a city we lived in. You know, that lazy, not in a rush to be anywhere, wander through the streets. We would flick through the morning papers, drink coffee and watch the crowds around us. We would do a little bit of shopping, share lunch and just enjoy the mood. And inevitably Mr A would stop and buy us a bag or two of roasted almonds to nibble on. Warm, crunchy, cinnamony and sweet. Heavenly on a cold February day, to hold and to eat. Just delicious.

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That was then and this is now – many years later, different places, different people. But the memory of those warm almonds has always stayed with me. And when recently Mr A returned from abroad with two bags of roasted nuts that disappeared in one evening, I had decided that I need these roasted treats in my life more often. So here they are. Crunchy, moreish morsels – cashews covered in crusty bourbon scented sugar shell. Little nibbles that are just irresistible and a perfect accompaniment to drinks. Whether you are having drinks at home or visiting friends, make a batch and share them out. They make a wonderful gift for the hostess and guests alike.

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These smell just like my bourbon and vanilla French toast. They are sweet but with a hint of sea salt since I love that sweet salty combo. The bourbon and cinnamon gives them that wonderful depth of warmth and vanilla makes them really aromatic. They are a doddle to make. Seriously. 30 minutes of your time and you have yourself a delicious snack. Just make sure to use a silicone or a non-stick baking mat to avoid a sticky mess. Here is the recipe.

  • 600 grams of cashew nuts
  • 2 egg whites from medium eggs
  • 1 tbsp of bourbon
  • 1 tsp of vanilla paste
  • 1 tsp of sea salt flakes
  • 250 grams of sugar
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon

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Preheat the oven to 180°C and place a large roasting tray in the oven so that it heats up whilst you prepare the nuts. Ensure it’s lined with a silicone or a non-stick baking mat.

To a large bowl add the egg whites, bourbon, vanilla and sea salt. Whisk the egg whites mixture by hand until light and fluffy. You want to aerate the whites as much as possible since this will help that delicious crust to develop. Once the whites are fluffy, add the nuts to the bowl and give them a mix. You want to ensure even coating at this point before adding the sugar. Again, stir the sugar in ensuring it’s all mixed in.

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Now transfer the nuts onto the preheated baking tray ensuring they are evenly spaced out and place in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes and check. The mixture should start to bubble and turn golden brown. Remove the tray from the oven, give the nuts a stir and place back in the oven for a further 10 minutes. Check again and if the coating is looking dry, remove the nuts from the oven. They will harden up as they cool so don’t be tempted to bake them for longer. Remove the nuts from the oven and allow to cool on the tray.

Once cooled, give them a stir to break any big lumps. Place in serving dishes whilst still warm or wait till completely cool before adding into little cute cellophane bags if destined for friends. Any left over nuts will keep well for a week in an airtight container. But I challenge you to having these beyond the third day, they are seriously tasty. Enjoy x

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