Homemade edible gifts are a great alternative to store-bought presents. Not only are they thoughtful and personal, the process of making them is often fun and memorable – especially with kids. From buying the ingredients to packaging them, there is definitely a sense of accomplishment which comes from creating something. And who doesn’t love receiving these types of delicious gifts?
Recently I was asked to help make a batch of Holiday Spiced Nuts by my friend Frannie. She put out a request via email to a committee of volunteers (it takes a village) and several of us responded. A recipe for roasting nuts was sent with the request. These nuts would be packaged to give away as holiday thank-you gifts to donors after a recent fundraiser.
When reading the recipe and seeing the blend of spices I could tell right away these spiced nuts were going to be incredibly good. After the first batch I confirmed my suspicion. The flavor profile of these spiced nuts is perfect. They were savory with a slight kick of heat and a little sweetness to them to balance everything out.
True story… my husband tried a couple nuts (because I would not let him have more than 3 or 4 pieces) and raved about them. I immediately knew I had to hide them from him because he has this way of sneaking things I make. Most of the time I think it’s cute, but since these nuts were technically not mine I really had to hide them well. And of course when I found him in the kitchen searching for them nonchalantly I had to tell Rob I hid them because my reputation was at stake.
Frannie’s Holiday Spiced Nuts makes a wonderful Christmas gift to give away. Just make sure to make at least two batches so you can enjoy them for yourself as well.
Recipe: Frannie's Holiday Spiced Nuts
Savory, slightly spicy, and a little sweet, these spiced nuts make the perfect edible holiday or hostess gift. They would make a great addition to any cheese platter or stand alone snack at a party.
2 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons garlic salt
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
16 ounces pecan halves
16 ounces whole almonds
16 ounces salted cashews
Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
Whisk the egg whites, water, sugar, salt, and spices in a large mixing bowl. The mixture will appear gooey.
Add the pecans, cashews and almonds. Mix until they are evenly coated with the wet spice mixture.
Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
Evenly divide the nuts between both baking sheets in single layers.
Bake for 60 minutes, stirring every 20 minutes and rotating the baking sheets half way through.
Remove the mixture from the oven and loosen the nuts from the pan.
Allow the nuts to cool before serving or packaging.
The spiced nuts will last up to 2 months if stored in an airtight container.