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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Holiday gifts - Two easy nut recipes to give in jars!

Eggroll with Plum Sauce and
Sun Dried tomato Jalapeno Jelly

Marinara and Plum Sauce Meatballs
My sister asked me to put together appetizers for her birthday party. I wanted to feature some of the jars that I have canned like the Plum Sauce, Sun Dried Tomato Jalapeno Jelly, and my Caramelized Onions.  I did a huge batch of meatballs and used the plum sauce for dipping. I also made mini egg rolls and used the jelly for the side. Last, I made a puff pastry tartlet with the Caramelized Onions.

One of my favorite recipes of the night were two versions of mixed nuts; sweet/heat & sweet/smokey. The recipes are almost identical and the process is the same. The results are two really good mixes that are perfect for a party, snacking, or great in a jar to give as a gift!
These recipes can be done with any combination of nuts and can be increased in spiciness by adding more cayenne.

Warning: Do not try the nuts right out of the oven they are really hot from the sugars!
Sweet Heat Mixed Nuts

1/3 cup light brown sugar
Sweet Smoked Nuts & Sweet Heat Nuts
2/3 cup white granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Generous pinch of cayenne pepper (I used 1/8 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 ½ cups mixed nuts
1 egg white, room temperature
1 tablespoon water
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix using a fork sugars, salt, cayenne, and cinnamon, making sure there are no lumps; set aside. Beat egg white and water until frothy but not stiff. Add walnuts, and stir to coat evenly. Sprinkle nuts with sugar mixture, and toss until evenly coated. Spread sugared nuts in a single layer on a cookie sheet fitted with parchment paper. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven, and separate nuts as they cool. When completely cool, pour the nuts into a bowl, breaking up any that stick together.

Sweet Smoked Mixed Nuts
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2/3 cup white granulated sugar
2 teaspoon smoke salt (I used penzeys bbq smoke salt)
3 ½ cups mixed nuts
1 egg white, room temperature
1 tablespoon water
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix using a fork sugars, salt, making sure there are no lumps; set aside. Beat egg white and water until frothy but not stiff. Add walnuts, and stir to coat evenly. Sprinkle nuts with sugar mixture, and toss until evenly coated. Spread sugared nuts in a single layer on a cookie sheet fitted with parchment paper. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven, and separate nuts as they cool. When completely cool, pour the nuts into a bowl, breaking up any that stick together.

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