This is another way to make nuts just that little bit more exciting. It’s a variation on the Maple Sugar-Roasted Almonds, but with cashews and vanilla. It needs a bit less cooking time, so spray more frequently and watch that they don’t burn during cooking. I reckon cashews benefit from a bit more salt than almonds, and a slightly cooler oven (180C rather than 200C). Otherwise, it’s pretty much the same as the almond version.
- 2 cups raw cashews
- 2 tbsp white sugar
- 2 tbsp boiling water
- 0.5 tsp vanilla extract
- salt to taste
- Dissolve the sugar in the water. This might take a few minutes, but using boiling water is obviously quicker. The aim is to create a concentrated sugar solution, but not so concentrated that it won’t spray out of the nozzle in the bottle. If you find its too thick and won’t spray properly, just add a tiny bit more water.
- Add the vanilla extract.
- Pour the sugar solution into a small spray bottle.
- Spread the nuts on a baking tray. Ideally they should just cover the tray in a single layer. You don’t want them to overlap too much, but you don’t want big gaps either.
- Heat the oven to 180C. Spray about 1/3 of the sugar solution over the surface of the nuts, sprinkle a tiny amount of salt (like a pinch, no more), and put the nuts in the oven for about 5 minutes.
- Remove the nuts from the oven, shake them around again on the baking tray (you’re trying to expose the as-yet-unsprayed surface), spray another 1/3 of the sugar solution on them, sprinkle again with a tiny amount of salt, and put them back in the over for another 5 minutes.
- Again, remove the nuts, shake them around, spray the remainder of the sugar solution on them, and put them back in the oven for about 5 minutes more. During this stage it’s a good idea to check them every couple of minutes or so, and don’t be afraid to cut short the cooking time if they taste about right. You don’t want to over-roast them. Let your taste be your guide: if they taste right, they are right.
- As they cool, be careful not to let the nuts stick to the pan. Just shake them around periodically, so any remaining damp coating doesn’t stick them together. By the time they’re cool, they should be pretty non-sticky.