Sunday, December 23, 2012

We're All A Few Nuts

My family is not really all that into the culinary arts.  We have a few go-to dishes that we do well enough to make us look like kitchen rockstars.  One of them we also give as Christmas gifts.

Beebes 1, Santa 0.

If you get a gift from us, these will either look familiar or are going to look familiar come December 25.  In the later case: SURPRISE!

Candied Pecans (or Almonds)
** We have tried walnuts, but they contain a lot of natural oil, which softens during baking and never hardens.  The final product is chewy instead of crunchy.

1 lb. shelled almonds  **we use 1 lb. 6 oz. bags of pecans with the same amount of ingredients below

Less than half the total haul

1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup cold water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Combine all ingredients except nuts, in a pan.  Bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and stir in nuts.

Using a slotted spoon to transfer nuts to a wax-paper-lined cookie sheet and reserve sauce.


Initially the sauced nuts will look wet, not "candied."

Thoroughly sauced nuts.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 min, stirring (with a spatula to loosen nuts from the wax paper) every 5 min and basting sparingly with reserved sauce after 10 and 15 mins.

After 5 min, very little sticking

Drizzle drizzle drizzle

By the 15 min stirring the "candied" sugar crust will start to appear.

After 15 min, sticking to the wax paper is normal

Transfer nuts to separate wax-paper-lined cookie sheet to cool.

Almonds cool to look like this.

We mix almonds and pecans before packaging.

Minus what we saved for ourselves....

Off-season diet approved.  I promise.

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