Smoky Spiced Sumac Cashews

Completely addictive salty, sweet, spicy and smoky cashews with a glazed shell. 

Smoky Spiced Sumac Cashews

This is the ultimate cold weather snack. The description calls them addictive and it's completely accurate. I think over the course of the day we demolished half of the batch. You go in for a cashew and they you realize it's all the flavors you want plus crunchy and you're like "oh hell yeah" and then you eat 500 cashews and wonder why all the neighborhood squirrels are looking in your windows.

These cashews would be great for a cheese board, party snacks or YOU travel snacks (they're energy dense and not bland! WOO!). I've made these several times over the past few weeks and have a feeling these will be a staple in our house for a long time. 

What sets them apart from most 'spiced nut' recipes is the glaze on the exterior as well as the addition of sumac in the spice blend. Sometimes recipes for spiced nuts end up burnt and dry with a spice coating that is coating every surface of said nut. The ratio is all wrong and the texture is just awful. The glazing method, while it takes a touch more work on your end (once they're out of the oven, you'll need to occasionally toss them around until they're cool to keep them from all sticking), provides a superior texture and flavor. Sumac has been making a semi-frequent appearance in our recipes recently. We used it in the ultimate spice blend for the fried turkey sandwich in the November menu. It adds a really different flavor note for most of us. It's a citrus, sour tone that really works here! And to give the spice context, I've seen it described for usage as being a good fit for a dish where you might use a squeeze of fresh lemon...like hummus! 

Smoky Spiced Sumac Cashews
Smoky Spiced Sumac Cashews

Smoky Spiced Sumac Cashews

/// Ingredients /// 

  • 4 cups raw cashews 
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne 
  • 1/2 teaspoon sumac
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon butter

/// Directions /// Preheat oven for 350 F. Add sugar, water and butter to a small pan on the stove over medium. Melt butter then continue to cook for 1 minute.  While butter is melting with sugar and water add spices to a medium mixing bowl and stir to combine. Add cashews. Slowly pour sugar mixture over cashews, continuously tossing the cashews with a rubber spatula to evenly coat the cashews with sugar and spices. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, grease parchment paper and spread cashews evenly in a single layer. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and toss cashews. Return to oven for another 6 minutes. Remove from oven and continue to stir cashews on the pan periodically until they are no longer sticky (about 10 minutes).

 

Smoky Spiced Sumac Cashews

Dietitian Nutritionist. My husband Chris and I create food and beverage photos, videos, stopmotions and recipes. And they're really cool.