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Kitchen Queries

Welcome to Kitchen Queries, where the nigella.com team will answer your cooking or food related questions.  We’d love you to submit some of your recipe problems, dilemmas or queries for us to get our teeth into!

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  • Union Square Cafe Nuts For Christmas

    The Union Square Cafe Bar Nuts are one of my fave things to have this time of year. I am thinking of making them to go into gift baskets for Christmas presents. How long will they last in a sealed jar?

    From the nigella team:

    The Union Square Cafe's Bar Nuts (from Nigella Bites) are roasted nuts that are then tossed with a mixture of butter, chopped rosemary, cayenne pepper and sugar and served warm. Unfortunately the final finished version of the nuts will not keep very well as the butter will solidify as it cools, becoming slightly unpalatable, and the nuts will not keep for that long in a jar at room temperature.

    It would be possible to roast the nuts in advance, let them cool completely and transfer them to sealed jars. They will keep for 1-2 weeks this way, but remember that the higher the level of oil in the nuts, the more quickly they will spoil as the oils in the nuts turn rancid. Macademias and Brazil nuts will not last as long as pecans, cashews and almonds. You could then mix the butter with the sugar, salt, chopped rosemary and cayenne and form this into pats, wrap tightly and chill them. If the butter is kept in the fridge it should last for 5 to 7 days. Give the nuts with the pats of butter and instructions to melt the butter over a low heat in a large frying pan or wok, add the nuts and heat gently for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring regularly, before serving.

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