We love snacking around here, and we try to keep it relatively healthy. As long as I can make it myself, with simple, whole-food ingredients, I consider it a good snack. And with the end-of-year holidays, I really love having non-cookie snacks to munch on or put out for guests.
I’ve had coconut cashews that were made by Trader Joe’s, and I’ve created my own recipe here, so I can control exactly what goes in there.
1 cup raw cashews
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup toasted unsweetened coconut
1/2 teaspoon big-flake sea salt (I use Maldon)
In a large, heavy skillet over medium heat, add the cashews, sugar, and water. With a heat-proof spatula, move the cashews around, stirring constantly as the sugar melts. After it melts, watch the pan very carefully, as it burns easily. The liquid will evaporate, and the cashews will dry and look sugar-coated. Keep stirring, until the sugar melts down and the cashews begin to brown.
Keep stirring constantly, reducing the heat if the pan begins to smoke. When the sugar remelts, remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the coconut and sea salt. Spread the nuts out on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and cool. Keeps for weeks.
Note: The recipe is easy, but be careful: melted sugar is seriously hot, which makes it very easy to burn yourself. Before making the recipe, I recommend having a bowl of ice water near the stove. If you get hot sugar on your hand, just plunge it into the bowl for a few minutes.