Be prepared for guests and keep these aromatic and addicting party nuts on hand for your next happy hour. The holiday season is upon us and chances are, at some point, you will have unannounced visits from friends or neighbors. Entertaining and visiting with guests is one of the best parts of the season, but it does require you to stay on your toes a little when it comes to serving snacks and drinks to friends. With a few key ingredients on hand, you can be prepared for the unexpected happy hour. I always make sure the bar is stocked. A variety of wines and seasonal beers are easy choices, but I also keep a variety of flavored seltzers on hand for those that prefer a nonalcoholic drink.
If you’re serving cocktails, then your guests will need something to snack on too. Fresh cheese for slicing, a little fig jam, and crackers from the pantry are simple ingredients to stock.
Impress your guests with the perfect party nuts too. Go beyond the store-bought can and create your own addicting nut mixture. I love a mix that is both sweet and salty and my roasted Rosemary Citrus Party Nuts with Maple Glazed Bacon do not disappoint. Here, I am tossing almonds, pecans, and cashews together. These nuts get tossed in a terrific blend of seasonings perfect for the holidays. Sweet maple syrup, fragrant rosemary, and bright orange zest complement one another so nicely. While they are roasting away, I crisp up some bacon bits in maple syrup. Yes, bacon. So much better than store-bought, right? With all the magical aroma in the kitchen, it is tempting not to steal some bites, but these nuts only get better and crispier when cooled. A bowl of these at happy hour will delight your guests, so they may just be popping in more often…you’ve been warned.
For another make-ahead snack that guests will devour, try my mom’s Nuts and Bolts: A Savory Snack Mix.
Do you make your own roasted party nuts? What’s in your mix?
Be prepared for guests and keep these aromatic and addicting party nuts on hand for your next happy hour.
- 8 ounces whole unsalted almonds
- 8 ounces whole unsalted pecans
- 8 ounces whole unsalted cashews
- 2 tbsp maple syurp
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary minced
- 1 tsp grated orange zest
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper more if you want it spicier
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 6-8 slices thick cut bacon diced
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp fresh rosemary minced
- 1/4 tsp grated orange zest
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Toss all ingredients together in a bowl, making sure that each nut is evenly coated. Keep the bowl out for later.
Spread evenly on the baking sheet and bake, tossing occasionally, until browned, about 25-30 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool completely.
Add diced bacon pieces to a pan and cook over medium-high heat until crisp.
Drain onto a paper towel wipe off excess grease in pan.
Turn off the heat and return the bacon to the pan.
Add the maple syrup, rosemary, and orange zest and toss until well coated.
Pour the bacon into the bowl used for the nuts and let cool.
Add the cool nuts to the bowl and toss everything together to evenly distribute.
Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Before serving, try zesting some additional orange skin over the top for a fragrant punch.
This recipe leans more toward savory so if you prefer these to be sweeter, increase your maple syrup amount by a tablespoon.