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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Candied Pecans & Spiced Nuts

Here are two awesome nut recipes for holiday gifting or entertaining!

*I bought all my nuts at Trader Joes - so that's the size packaging I'm referring too…

Combine in a bowl:
1 package 1/2-salt roasted cashews
1 package whole walnuts
1 package whole pecan halves
1 cup salted-roasted whole almonds (use more if you really like almonds)
1 cup pumpkin seeds**

For the dressing: (whisk or shake together in a jar)
2 tablespoons oil
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons orange juice - plus the zest of the orange
Use 4 teaspoons of spices :: cumin and garam masala (indian) OR cumin and chipotle seasoning OR chili powder OR whatever other combination you think would be great.
4 tablespoons fresh rosemary (finely chopped - no stems)
Fresh ground pepper

Mix all the nuts together.  Then toss in the dressing until all the nuts are well covered.  Heat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare two sheet pans by lightly coating them in oil.  Pour the nuts into an even layer on the pans and roast for 25-35 minutes until they smell delicious, have soaked up most of the dressing, and start to brown slightly.  Remove them at least twice during roasting to toss them around for evenness.

Pour onto parchment paper in a single layer immediately to cool.  Give them a taste and see how the salt level is… sprinkle with additional salt before they cool completely if needed. The nuts must be absolutely cooled and dried before packaging them up in boxes or jars.  Store in an air tight container for up to 2 weeks.

In a small sauce pan - heat over medium:
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon cardamon
*This recipe is easily doubled - I actually made a triple batch last time.

Pour mixture over 1 - 8oz package of pecans and toss to coat.  Roast in the oven at 350 degrees in a single layer on an oiled pan for 15-20 minutes.  Toss at least once during the roasting time to ensure even cooking.  

Remove from oven and cool in a single layer on a piece of parchment paper.  Once completely cooled and dried - package for eating or delivery!  These should keep about 2 weeks in an air tight container.

I always said I didn't like pecans before…I guess I've never had candied ones… these were so delicious I had a hard time getting them out the door and gifting them!!  

Either of these recipes are easy to make and are absolutely delicious.  Packaging is easy - I just used mason jars that I had left over from canning season and I did buy a couple larger jars recently at hobby lobby.  A little ribbon and some decorative tags - good to go!  Anyone would love receiving these.

I hope you enjoy!!


*I just want to apologize right now for the terrible photos that you are experiencing and will experience for awhile going forward.  I've moved and haven't adjusted to the new light very well and of course it also gets dark about 4:45 pm here which makes things even trickier.  I'll get this whole photoshop thing figured out again!! I've also been switching back and forth between cameras trying to figure out which works best - so please bear with me!