Last week I had the pleasure of attending a Christmas party that my best friend hosted for her family and mine. It’s a tradition that has been going on for over 20 years, and it’s one of the things I look forward to the most during the holidays. For this year’s party, we decided to do an appetizer potluck. I enjoyed the challenge of coming up with appetizers that could be transported easily – our drive to the party was over an hour, so I didn’t want to make something hot – and that would also be crowd-pleasers for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. These Chinese five spice cashews fit my requirements perfectly and couldn’t be easier to prepare.
Chinese five spice is such a unique mix of flavors that I actually find it difficult to describe. A blend of cinnamon, star anise, anise seed, cloves and ginger come together to create a warm, slightly spicy and sweet taste. The anise seed gives a light licorice flavor, which in my mind adds a whole new level of complexity to the spice. I think it’s the perfect spice for the holidays, when we all could use a bit of warming up. Combined with the sweet flavor of cashews, this is a truly addicting snack.
The recipe is one of the easiest you’ll ever see: you simply roast the nuts for a few minutes, stir in some butter and the spices, and let them cool. Not only are they great for a party, but I also think they would make a perfect hostess gift.
- 1 lb raw unsalted cashews
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
- Add cashews to a baking sheet and spread them out evenly; roast for 10 minutes.
- In the meantime, melt the butter in a bowl and combine with the spice powder and salt.
- Once nuts are roasted, add them to a large bowl with the butter spice mixture. Mix thoroughly until all of the nuts are coated.
- Add the nuts back to the baking sheet and spread them out evenly. Let cool for about 30-45 minutes and then store in an airtight container.