Here are a few recipes that your holiday guests will really go nuts for. They’re sweet, spicy and perfect to serve at a Christmas party, a family get together or to give away as holiday gifts.
Christmas Cashews and Cinnamon Nuts were always a hit at my office during the holiday season. They are great for snacking and are loaded with healthy protein. What’s more, if you are looking for a simple and affordable homemade gift to give to your babysitter, paperboy, or your postal carrier, these nuts deliver.
1 teaspoon garam masala (located in the ethnic foods section of your local market)
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups cashew nuts (pieces or whole), raw about 12 ounces
1 egg white, whipped until frothy
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
If you are using parchment paper, spray the cookie sheet with cooking spray to anchor the paper down, spray the paper and set aside. If you are using aluminum foil, tear off a sheet the size of the cookie sheet, flatten into the pan and spray with a bit of cooking spray and set aside.
Whisk the egg white until frothy.
Add the spices and salt and let sit for about 5 minutes.
Toss the raw cashews in the egg white-spice mixture to coat and spread them out on the pan.
Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, stirring often, about every 5 minutes.
Let cool and store in an airtight container.
1/2 teaspoon dry minced orange peel (re-hydrated in 2 teaspoons water)
1/2 teaspoon Ceylon cinnamon (a.k.a. “true cinnamon” or “old-fashioned cinnamon”)
1/3 cup water
2 cups walnut or pecan halves
3/4 cup sugar
Cover the dry minced orange peel in water. Let stand for at least 10 minutes to fully re-hydrate.
Combine the orange peel, sugar, Ceylon cinnamon, and water in a deep saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring regularly. Add the nuts and reduce heat to medium-low, so the liquid is simmering. Stir constantly while the water evaporates. At first, the glaze will be shiny. As the water boils off, the sugar will form brown crusty crystals on the walnuts. When the nuts are completely coated and all the liquid has evaporated, remove from the heat. Make sure to stir constantly to prevent the nuts from burning.
Spread the nuts on a cookie sheet to cool.
Store in an airtight container.