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.
geraldine | Green Valley Kitchen says
Oh, Julia – cashews are my down fall – can’t be left alone with them. It would be very hard to resist eating them all before the guests came. Love your choice of spices on these. Will be making a batch (just for me!). Happy New Year!!
Happy New Year, Geraldine! Cashews are my downfall too…they are one of my favorite snacks to nibble on, and I love adding them to everything. I hope you like these!
These cashews were soooo tasty…and since I watched you make them, I can confirm that they are one of the easiest party snacks to create. I’m sorry we didn’t stop by Penzey’s to pick up some Chinese five-spice the other day…my spice cabinet is obviously deficient!
You’re lucky to have a Penzey’s nearby! I have a feeling I would go a little overboard if I were to pay a visit there. I am glad you enjoyed these cashews!
Traci | Vanilla And Bean says
Yup, me too. Cashews, one of the most versatile nuts, I adore them. I’ll have to pick up some 5 spice or mix up a batch. This looks delicious, Julia! Thank you! I’ll have to whip up a batch to keep on hand for snacking!
I think you’ll really like these, Traci! I’m all about easy party snacks! And I am sure you could make a batch of five spice pretty easily, too.
Oooh, I like this idea. I bought raw cashews a few weeks ago for a cashew cream sauce and had no idea what to do with the rest besides roast them (I used some honey and sriracha). I’m trying this next time!
A cashew cream sauce sounds amazing! I might need to try that out sometime soon. Your honey and sriracha combination is a great idea, too–sweet and spicy is always a great combination. I think Asian flavors go really well with cashews, since they are pretty mild in taste and slightly sweet.
I can vouch for both the flavor and how addicting these little things are. I keep telling myself, this will be the last one, but it so rarely is. 🙂 They’re the perfect holiday treat!
Oh yes, these are certainly addicting! It’s always fun to make a party snack that people can’t put down. I am glad you enjoyed them!
Isadora @ she likes food says
I keep telling my husband that we need to have an appetizer party! Appetizers are my favorite things ever and I think I could survive off of them! I also love cashews and these chinese five spiced ones sound awesome! Happy New Year!
Happy New Year to you too, Izzy! I agree, appetizer parties are so fun. I love how easy and relaxed they are, too!
Katie @ Whole Nourishment says
Mmm, this looks delicious Julia. I love Chinese five spice and baking with it makes the whole house smell good too. This couldn’t be easier either!
Thanks, Katie! I agree–my apartment smelled amazing after I whipped these up!