Maple Rosemary Cayenne Roasted Nuts

Welcome to spring! Well, almost. Now that we're into March, I'm super excited about everything spring, especially maple syrup. I'll be celebrating my love for maple syrup with these snackable, protein-loaded, unbelievably addicting Maple Rosemary Cayenne Roasted Nuts.

These nuts are a flavor explosion. They're sweet from maple syrup, but herbaceous and woodsy thanks to rosemary, and have a very subtle heat from cayenne. They're a perfect appetizer, happy hour snack, easily portable lunch item, or salad topping. You need these nuts in your life, and they only take about 25 minutes to make!

My inspiration for this post came from some amazing women around New England who I've been collaborating with. We've decided to do some celebrations of local, seasonal ingredients, and maple syrup sounded like the right place to start since it's such an iconic New England product. We're all posting maple creations today, and you can see them all on Instagram under #PlantedInNewEngland.

Being a native Vermonter, maple syrup is near and dear to my heart. My parents even make their own syrup and it's amazing! It's such hard work hauling all the sap around, boiling for hours on end, and eventually canning it for the year to come; I really admire all the time and energy they put into their sugaring operation. It all happens in a frenzied few weeks, usually in early March, although the timing depends on the weather.

Maple sap (i.e. what comes out of the tree during a few weeks of early spring) is only a few percent sugar whereas maple syrup should be 68% sugar according to Vermont regulations, so you do the math... it's a heck of a lot of boiling!

Maple syrup is, of course, delightful on its own. But the thing that makes these nuts extra special is infusing the maple syrup with rosemary and cayenne (see the bowl of this divine infused syrup in the photo below!). It ensures that those flavors are distributed evenly across the nuts rather than clumped up, making each nut the perfect balance of sweet and heat.

There are numerous different ways you can customize these maple-kissed nuts. Use whatever combination of nuts you want (just make sure you're starting with raw nuts!). I've shown a combination of pecans, walnuts, cashews, and pistachios, but choose what you love.

You can also adjust the heat. As written, these are just barely warming, but you can omit the cayenne entirely if you're not into spice or amp it up if you want more.

One of my goals in this post is to convince you that maple syrup has so many more applications other than just as a topping for pancakes or as a baking ingredient. The complexity of maple syrup's sweetness is actually the perfect complement for savory flavors, such as the rosemary and cayenne in these nuts. It's a great salad dressing ingredient and a lovely glaze for grilled veggies or proteins.

Hope this recipe brings you some feelings of spring, which we call "sugaring season" in Vermont!

Please share your creation so I can see how you've interpreted the concept! Tag "The Rogue Brussel Sprout" on Facebook or hashtag #theroguebrusselsprout on Instagram.

Need more snack foods? This Roasted Lemon, Goat Cheese, and Za'atar Hummus is also perfect for spring and an awesome complement for all your favorite dipping items.

Thoughts About Ingredients
(These are all just suggestions, since rogue is more fun than recipe)
  • 0.5 c maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp bourbon
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, incredibly finely chopped
  • 0.25 tsp cayenne. Feel free to adjust this as you see fit. 
  • Heaping 3 c raw mixed nuts of choice
  • Heaping 0.5 tsp fleur de sel. This is a French flaky sea salt, although another flaky sea salt would be fine in its place.
Thoughts About Method
(These are all just suggestions, be creative and make it yours)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the maple syrup, bourbon, rosemary, and cayenne. Bring it to a boil, then reduce it to a low boil and keep it there for one minute. This will infuse the maple syrup with all of the other delicious flavors.
  3. Put your nuts into a large mixing bowl, then pour the infused maple syrup over them and mix well.
  4. Add the salt and mix again (I like to do the salt last so it stays in nice crystals on the nuts rather than melting into the maple syrup).
  5. Spread the nuts onto the prepared baking sheet, giving them as much space as possible so that they cook evenly and don't clump.
  6. Roast at 400 for ten minutes and then stir.
  7. Roast for another five minutes and stir again.
  8. Roast for another minute or two, stirring as needed, until the sugar on the outside of the nuts just barely starts to brown. Take them out a bit sooner than you think you need to since the sugar will keep browning on the hot baking sheet. Keep a very close eye on them at this stage!
  9. Cool your nuts completely on the sheet, then store them in a sealed container.


  1. We made these for our holiday gift baskets. They are outstanding! The timing is critical so as not to burn them in those last few minutes.

    1. The Rogue Brussel SproutDecember 6, 2020 at 8:11 PM

      Oh wow, that sounds like such a fun holiday gift! There are a lot of festive flavors here. The maple syrup is so delicious, but you're right, it can burn easily... definitely need to keep a close eye on them toward the end!


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