How To Toast Walnuts (Or Really Any Nuts)
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! Roasted nuts are a quick and easy way to add SO much more flavor to any recipe that uses nuts.
Case in point: 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 tried and true Original Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe, just like pretty much everyone else on the planet! Of course, I make sure to use fresh, quality ingredients, including real butter and pure vanilla extract. But really it’s the toasted walnuts that really set my cookies apart from the pack.
Whole Nuts For Roasted Nuts
Toasting the nuts imparts a richer flavor, and you can use toasted nuts in any recipe that calls for nuts. I prefer to use whole nuts for roasting, just because they roast more evenly since they’re they’re roughly the same size. Chopped nuts are unevenly sized, and often the smaller bits can burn before the larger chunks are golden and toasted.
Nuts have high concentrations of natural oil, so it’s not necessary to add oil when toasting. And it’s SO easy!
Tips For Roasting Nuts:
- Taste your nuts before toasting. Don’t waste your time roasting rancid nuts.
- Larger nuts (ex. walnuts, pecans, almonds) may take up to 10 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 as good (and might even taste a little burnt).
- 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! Just another reason why I prefer roasting whole nuts.
- For small batches or in a pinch, you can also toast nuts in the microwave.
What’s your favorite kind of nut to toast?
A few of my favorite recipes where I use roasted nuts:
- Grape Salad With Cream Cheese — roasted pecans are amazing in this creamy grape salad!
- Layered Cranberry Salad — I incorporate toasted walnuts or pecans into the Jell-O salad layer, as well as sprinkle them over the top of the cream cheese sour cream layer!
- Chicken Salad With Grapes — I use roasted pecans in my chicken salad, as well. Grapes and toasted pecans are made for each other!
- Banana Pecan Bread — toasted nuts are a must for this banana bread or any quick bread recipe!
- Cherry Almond Cookies — chopped toasted almonds are heavenly in this oatmeal cookie recipe!
Did you use this tip in a recipe?
Tag @unsophisticook on Instagram and hashtag it #unsophisticook so I can check it out.