I love giving homemade gifts for the holidays, especially if they’re edible! My go-to is always something sweet – chocolate bark or cookies – but this year I’m switching it up. Spiced or candied nuts are a great gift for two reasons:
They’re incredibly easy to make and customize
I’m including three of my favorite recipes below, but keep in mind that you can flavor nuts with just about anything! Try chopped sage instead of rosemary or chili powder instead of paprika – the possibilities are endless. The best part is that they only take 20 minutes to make, so you can try flavor combo after combo!
(Rosemary-Black Pepper Nuts)
(Sweet and Spicy Nuts, from raw to toasty in 20 minutes!)
Spiced nuts are easily transported
The biggest problem with giving baked goods as gifts is the packaging and transportation. Chocolate melts, cookies crumble, icing gets smashed – you get the idea. Nuts are much more durable, so they’ll survive two plane rides and a car trip to Grandma’s house!
Now that you’re sold on the benefits of gifting spiced or candied nuts, here are a few recipes to try out:
Sweet and Spicy Nuts
Perfect with almonds, pecans and pistachios.
- 1 cup mixed raw nuts
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Dash of cayenne
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Line small baking sheet with parchment. Stir all of the ingredients in a small bowl; spread evenly on prepared baking sheet. Bake until golden brown and glazed, stirring twice, about 15 minutes. Cool completely. Transfer nuts to airtight jars or bags. (Can be made 1 week ahead.)
Rosemary-Black Pepper Nuts
This is great with almonds and cashews.
- 1 cup mixed raw nuts
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Line small baking sheet with parchment. Stir the nuts, oil, rosemary, sugar and salt to blend in a small bowl; spread nuts evenly on prepared baking sheet. Season the nuts generously with cracked pepper. Bake until golden brown, stirring twice, about 15 minutes. Cool completely. Transfer nuts to airtight jars or bags. (Can be made 1 week ahead.)
It’s best to use pecans and walnuts because the cinnamon sugar fills the nooks and crannies of the nuts.
- 1 cup raw walnuts and pecans
- 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
- 1 tablespoons water
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a small baking sheet with parchment. Stir the almonds, 2 tablespoons sugar, water and salt to blend in a medium bowl; spread nut mixture evenly on prepared baking sheet. Bake until nuts are golden brown and glazed, stirring twice, about 22 minutes.
- Meanwhile: mix sugar and cinnamon in small bowl. Remove the nuts from the oven and immediately sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture and stir until well coated. Cool completely. Transfer to airtight jars or bags. (Can be made 1 week ahead.)