Crack Snack: The Union Cafe’s Spiced Bar Nuts

December 29, 2016



Truth: I had no intention of making these delicious, addictive nuts as part of my Christmas Day spread. In fact, I’d never heard of these snacky devils until late Christmas Eve day, when I begged the Google for appetizer help. But once I saw the recipe, I needed to make them. I needed to make them because a) they sounded dang delectable and b) I’d picked up some last minute guests for our Christmas dinner–I cannot stand to hear that someone’s going to be alone on a holiday when we have so much plentiful food, so we always pick up a few wonderful stray cats new additions and c) I am afflicted with “Mama Disease,” which means that there’s not just plenty of food on the holiday table…there’s a groaning earthquake of food. It’s an affliction. I have no excuse, except that I hate a stingy food table; so much that I go way in the opposite direction.

Also, d) they were incredibly easy to make.

When you add last-minute items to your Christmas menu, “incredibly easy” is probably the sexiest of virtues, don’t you think?

I really didn’t tinker with the recipe much, although I did have to resort to using solely pecans, because no f-ing way was I braving the grocery store late Christmas Eve day. Nope, Nope, Nopesters. Sorry, mixed-nut loving guests, you just got pecans this year, but pecans have to be one of the best nuts on the planet, so really no foul. Considering how fast these little guys were scarfed down, I don’t think anybody cared.

Did I mention they’re addictive? Especially served warm. Yeah, I’ll say it: I love warm nuts.

WHO is the Einsteain who discovered how much better nuts taste when served warm? They’re soooo much better. Although as I say this, these nuts are still butt-worthy even at room temperature. If you are one of the genus of the species who throws New Year’s Eve parties (ahem, who are you freaks? I am lucky if I see the ball drop in Times Square and sometimes it’s been so bad that I’ve called it a night when I see Paris celebrate) you should add these to your festive array of treats.

People will only object because they cannot stop eating them, and hey, as a host, that’s kinda your job.

Make these suckers. You won’t be sorry.

Happy New Year, everyone. I have a post-holiday wrap up forthcoming, but I wanted to wish you all a happy 2017 and best wishes for love, health, happiness and pursuing the things that bring you joy.


I love you.

Now go make these fucking nuts.






The Union Square Cafe’s Crack Bar Nuts

makes 2 1/4 cups


2 1/4 cups mixed nuts

1 tablespoon butter, melted

2 teaspoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons Kosher or Maldon salt

2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

1/2-1 teaspoon cayenne pepper


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the nuts on a sheet pan and toast for 8-10 minutes until fragrant. In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Add toasted nuts and toss well, making sure all nuts are coated. Ideally, serve immediately but they’ll still rock if you serve them at room temperature.





{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Camille December 29, 2016 at 9:22 pm

OH WOW YUM. I need these for my birthday!!!!!


Caitlin January 9, 2017 at 5:51 pm

I made spiced almonds for Christmas – soo good! Smart idea to serve them warm :)


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