For most of us, the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s are hectic, to say the least. And as organized as I think I am, invariably the unexpected happens. I forget a gift for someone. We get a last-minute invite to a holiday get-together. A friend stops by for an impromptu cup of tea (or glass of wine).
Over the years, I’ve found that having a few treats and snacks in the freezer and pantry keep me prepared for any holiday “situation”.
My dear friend Nancy gave me this recipe for spiced walnuts years ago – they are delicious and take less than ten minutes to prepare. They work well with any kind of nut you have on hand and use ingredients you can easily keep at the ready (and probably already have). Their sweet, mild flavor and crunchy texture are a crowd pleaser and they store beautifully for up to a month. I’ve doubled the original recipe but feel free to halve it if you prefer.
If you keep some cellophane bags, pretty ribbons and tags or stickers handy, these also make a great gift. A homemade offering is always appreciated and I guarantee these will impress the “gift-ee” every time.
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2 egg whites, beaten with 2 T. water till foamy
1 lb. walnuts (or any nuts you like)
1 t. each allspice, cinnamon, salt
1 c. sugar (200 g.)
Pre-heat oven to 300. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or spray with a non-stick cooking spray (such as Pam).
Let nuts soak in egg/water mixture for 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile combine sugar and spices. Toss sugar mixture and nuts till well coated. Divide nuts between 2 sheets.
Bake for an hour, stirring every 15 min. Let cool.
Store airtight at room temperature for up to one month.