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Super Bowls of Cashews

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Spicy Cashews

These spicy cashews are perfect to put out for an easy snack when friends and family gather.

My mom doesn’t cook. She used to, a lot. But when my sister and I left for college she decided she’d made breakfast, lunch and dinner for 21 years, and she was retiring.

Even still, my mother is the consummate hostess, always offering a drink or a snack, making everyone comfortable. When we go to her house, she and my dad inevitably have a few bowls of pickled veggies, cherry tomatoes and pretzels out. It’s been that way for as long as I can remember. 

Which is probably why my college freshman daughter says that when she comes home, I put bowls of snacks around the house. I think she just enjoys likening me to the Saturday Night Live skit “Back Home Ballers,” where a gaggle of cringy college girls come home for Thanksgiving, take over their houses, get completely spoiled (think clean laundry, free WiFi and paid-for-by-dad movie tickets) and make fun of their parents. Part of the making fun is when “Leslie” (SNL star Leslie Jones) brags about the bowls her mom sets out for her when she comes home: Potato chips, M&Ms, nuts. 

Apparently I put out bowls of nuts. I will admit this is true, but what can I say? They get eaten. 

Our favorite bowl of nuts comes from the Junior League’s most recent cookbook Peace Meals. The Spicy Rosemary Cashews in that book are sweet-spicy and addictive and the kind of thing that everyone wants the recipe for, every time. 

Looking forward to the Big Game, I think I’ll make some spicy cashews. They’re just the thing to have around for mindless, mess-free snacking, and they’re the easiest munchie in the world to make. The perfect bowl of nuts for Super Bowl weekend.

Spicy Rosemary Cashews
adapted from Peace Meals


1 pound whole, unsalted cashews
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon coarse salt
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted

Recipe directions: 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the cashews on a baking sheet and roast them for 12 to 14 minutes. While they are roasting, combine all the remaining ingredients in a medium bowl to form a paste. Add the warm cashews and mix gently with a spatula until they are evenly coated. Let the cashews cool before serving.

See more Super Bowl snack recipes here.

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