I've got a little secret to share with you today. Well, it's not really a secret, but it's a super easy way to take any recipe that calls for nuts to the next level... Are you ready?!?!
Toast. your. nuts.
Yes, it really is that simple. Every Christmas I get rave reviews on my chocolate chip walnut cookies, and inevitably someone will ask me for the recipe. I just smile and mutter something about how it's an old family recipe and I'm sworn to secrecy...
But really it's the toasted nuts.
I use the old standby Original Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe just like everyone else -- of course I make sure to use fresh, quality ingredients, including real butter and pure vanilla extract. But it's the toasted walnuts that really set my cookies apart from the pack.
Toasting the nuts imparts a richer flavor, and you can use toasted nuts in any recipe that calls for nuts. Nuts have high concentrations of natural oil, so it's not necessary to add oil when toasting. And it's SO easy!
Tips For Toasting Nuts:
- Taste your nuts before toasting. Don't waste your time roasting rancid nuts.
- Larger nuts (ex. walnuts, pecans, almonds) may take ten minutes to toast. Smaller nuts (ex. peanuts, pine nuts, macadamia nuts) will roast faster.
- Don't roast different types of nuts together unless they are approximately the same size.
- Cook the nuts only until they start to turn golden with parts still appearing raw. You don't want to let them get any darker than light brown or they won't taste good.
- Your nose is the best indicator for when the nuts are done toasting. When you can smell that wonderful, delicious, toasty scent, they're done.
- Warmed nuts are easier to chop.
- For small batches or in a pinch, you can also toast nuts in the microwave.
What's your favorite kind of nut to toast?