By: The Food Hunter
This holiday season add a personal touch to your gift giving with homemade edible treats. Cookies, fudge, and brittle, to name a few, all make delicious gourmet offerings. Food gifts work well for everyone on your list and are fun and inexpensive to make. So instead of fighting the crowds at the mall spend some time in your kitchen. Maybe even get the entire family involved.
Remember all the seasons best recipe can double as gifts; so as you are making something for your office party make a little extra for your neighbor. Something I always like to have on hand this time of year is mixed nuts. Salty, sweet, spicy party nuts, wrapped up in a nice bowl makes a tasty gift.
One of my favorite recipes is the one below by Alton Brown. Don't let the dried orange peel deter you from making these amazing nuts. It can easily be found, along with all the other ingredients, at Whole Foods Market. To help with your shopping this holiday season enter below to win a $25 Whole Foods Market gift card.
(courtesy of Alton Brown) (printable recipe)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon dried ground orange peel
1 pound pecan halves
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.
Mix the salt, cumin, cayenne, cinnamon and orange peel together in a small bowl and set aside.
Place the nuts in a 10-inch cast iron skillet and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes until they just start to brown and smell toasted. Add the butter and stir until it melts. Add the spice mixture and stir to combine. Once combined, add both sugars and water, stirring until the mixture thickens and coats the nuts, approximately 2 to 3 minutes.
Transfer the nuts to the prepared sheet pan and separate them with a fork or spatula. Allow the nuts to cool completely before transferring to an airtight container for storage. Can be stored up to 3 weeks.