Airport Food is the new Airplane Food
Finding healthy food in an airport is like finding a needle in a haystack. Burgers, fries, cheese covered cheese…yeah, you’ve been there.
So, usually when I am traveling, I duck into that coffee chain, and after 15 minutes of waiting in line, I get my cup. And while I am standing there, I have time to really study their impulse buy snack offerings. These little bags of cranberry cashews jumped out at me, so I bought some, and was instantly hooked. I would buy two, and along with my cream spiked coffee, took my lunch break on the flight.
Not so Nuts for Nuts…But Wait!
Regular, salted nuts are not my thing. (I hear a gasp from the readership…) yup, it’s true. But nuts with just a tad of sweetness and spice are a true weakness of mine. I decided to recreate my airport coffee shop cashew treat at home, as those little bags never made it home with me to enjoy later. And, a little bag can never be a big bag. I wanted a bigger bunch of cashews.
Making these spicy sesame covered cashews could not have been easier. One minute in the microwave, then 10-12 minutes in the oven, I got over a pound of these yummy salty sweet snacks, ready for the road or TV time. I may make a large batch for friends for holiday gifts, or hostess gifts. Knowing me, I would probably appropriate half for myself.
Better Cocktail Snacks
Where I really think these cashews will shine will be with cocktails and friends. The roasted dried cranberries are chewy against the crunchy cashew and sesame seeds. Try serving alongside a dry cocktail, such as a gimlet, margarita on the rocks, or a good ol’ fashioned scotch and soda.
Next time I am at the airport, I will probably skip that long line at the coffee shop and head straight for the free coffee on the plane. A big bag of homemade cashews will definitely be in my carry-on.
Spicy Cranberry Maple Cashews
- ¼ cup maple syrup (not pancake syrup)
- 1 ½ tbsp. butter
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼-½tsp ground cayenne pepper
- 1 lb. raw cashews
- 1 tbsp. sesame seeds
- ½ cup cranberries, minced
Heat your oven to 350°. Line a 15”x 9” jelly roll pan with parchment paper.
Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl (one that will fit in your microwave) add the maple syrup and butter. Heat for one minute on high in the microwave, until the butter has melted. Remove from the microwave, and add the salt, and cayenne pepper. Stir well.
Add the cashews, sesame seeds and cranberries to the bowl, and stir well so that all of the cashews are well coated and the cranberries are evenly disbursed. Pour the mixture onto the prepared jelly roll pan, making sure that the cashews are in a single layer.
Place the pan in the pre-heated oven for 6 minutes. Remove from the oven, toss and stir the cashews, then return to the oven for another 6 minutes. Remove the cashews from the oven, and allow to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container.
Makes about 1 1/4 lbs.