Union Square Cafe Bar Nuts


Versions of the famous Union Square Cafe Bar Nuts appear in many cookbooks, and since I love them, I thought it only fitting to include my own adaptation here. Sweet, salty, spicy, and rosemary-infused, they are the perfect nibbling food, not least because they’re so easy to make. All the recipe requires is toasting nuts, melting butter, chopping a bit of rosemary and mixing together a few ingredients you probably have on hand. Serve them with cocktails, enjoy them as a snack or give them as a gift. But don’t say I didn’t warn you: they are crazy addictive!

Note:  I like this recipe best with cashews and pecans, but you can use any nuts that you like. If you use raw nuts, be sure to toast them a bit longer, about 10 minutes, or until lightly golden.

Union Square Café Bar Nuts

Print Recipe
Servings: 2-1/2 cups
Total Time: 15 Minutes


  • 2-1/2 cups unsalted mixed nuts (any combination of cashews, whole unpeeled almonds, peeled peanuts, pecans, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts...whatever suits your taste)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil. Combine nuts on baking sheet and toast in oven until warm, fragrant and lightly golden, about 5 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, combine rosemary, cayenne pepper, brown sugar and butter. Add the warm, toasted nuts to the spiced butter and toss well. Add kosher salt and toss to coat thoroughly. Serve warm.
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  • Kelly

    Simply delicious. I can’t stop eating them!

  • Julie

    I loved these! Made them for a Halloween party today and added Kraft caramel bits to the mix in honor of Halloween. Delicious!

  • Very yummy, but if you tend to like things less spicy, I would only use 1/2 the cayenne pepper. Even those friends who “claim” to love the spicy stuff said Oh my when they got some rosemary and spice together…..great snack@!

  • nvr been to union sq. but these nuts are good!!!

  • Lisa

    Love the complex flavors of salty, sweet, spicy, & earthy! Makes for a great party snack!

  • Karen

    These are amazing and addicting. I have made these nuts several times and given them as gifts. Absolutely divine. You have to try them as they are easy and a very gift worthy concoction. Also good to give to someone who is not eating sweets. It just seems healthier. the nuts make an attractive gift in a nice small glass jar. Great party food too.The nuts can be varied too, to make it more customized. Delicious!

  • Donna

    I cannot wait to make these! My husband and I met in SF and ate this many times.

  • Liz

    I made these for Thanksgiving. My family loved the perfect combination of flavors and spices – all perfectly balanced. I will definitely make them again very soon!

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