Monday, November 24, 2014

Go Nuts: The Union Square Cafe's Bar Nuts

I think almost every celebrity chef has their own version of the Union Square Cafe's bar nuts. In fact, I've been making my own adaptation of Ina Garten's version for many years, and they've always been quite a hit. But I realized it was finally time to take a step back and try the original recipe - no interpretations, no substitutions, just the real deal as printed in the Cafe's own cookbook:

bar nuts snack appetizer
Belly up.

The Union Square Cafe's Bar Nuts

1 1/4 lbs. mixed, unsalted nuts (about 20 oz.)
1 Tablespoon butter, melted
2 Tablespoons fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Spread nuts evenly on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until fragrant, about 10 minutes. Combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl, then add the nuts as soon as they come out of the oven and toss to coat. Serve warm and enjoy!

Notes: I think I would have liked a little more butter and rosemary, and maybe a bit less salt. However, I'll have to reserve judgement until I visit the Cafe and try these straight from the source :-) You can certainly use a single type of nut instead of a mix—pecans and cashews work extremely well with the other flavors here.



  1. Surprisingly good! I can't stop eating them! I love nuts in general as a snack, but this recipe kicks it way up a notch! The rosemary is such a nice compliment and the cayenne is a nice addition. This is a perfect snack to serve at those holiday gatherings! I might even do them as neighbor gifts!

    1. Wonderful!!! And yes, these make excellent gifts - assuming they last that long ;-)

  2. Question, I have a can of salted mixed nuts that just can't seem to get used. Thinking of pulling them out for Our Super Bowl party on Sunday but want more flavor. Any chance I can use these for this recipie, with some changes, or will it not work because they're already salted?

    1. I'm all for using what you have! You could try pan-toasting them in a large skillet over medium heat with a small pat of butter, along with the rosemary and cayenne - just leave out adding the salt and brown sugar. Stir and toast the nuts for about 10 minutes. The nuts will have more flavor and take on some additional color as well. Let me know how it works!


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