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Edible Gifts: Nut Mixes

Here's a homemade gift even the youngest should be able to participate in making. There are several variations on this recipe to chose from.

Spiced Mixed Nuts

1 egg white -- lightly beaten
1 tsp. water
1 jar (8 oz.) dry roasted peanuts
1/2 cup blanched whole almonds
1/2 cup walnut or pecan halves
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbs. pumpkin pie spice

In a large bowl, combine egg white and water. Add nuts, toss to coat. Combine sugar and spice, sprinkle over the nuts and toss until well coated. Place nuts in a single layer on lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 300 degrees F for 20-25 minutes. Immediately transfer the nuts to waxed paper; cool. Break up any large clusters. Store in a covered container.

Garlic Almonds

1 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 Tbs. soy sauce
2 tsp. hot pepper sauce
3 mashed garlic cloves
1 pound blanched whole almonds
3 tsp. seasoned pepper
1/4 tsp. dried red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat rimmed baking sheet with butter. Sprinkle baking sheet with soy sauce, hot pepper sauce and garlic. Scatter almonds over sheet and stir till coated. Bake 10 minutes. Sprinkle with seasoned pepper, pepper flakes and salt. Bake 15 minutes. Cool. Will keep in tightly covered container for 3 months.

Orange Spiced Nuts

3 cups pecan halves
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup orange juice
1 Tbs. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cloves

Spread the pecans on a jelly roll pan. Toast at 275 degrees F for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside. In a saucepan, combine sugar, orange juice, cinnamon, salt and cloves. Cook and stir over medium heat to the soft-ball stage (236 degrees F). Remove from the heat. Stir in the nuts. Using a slotted spoon, remove the nuts and spread on waxed paper. Separate and let dry 2 hours. Store in airtight container

BUTTERED HONEY NUTS

6 oz. shelled unsalted nuts
1 T. butter
1 T. honey

Spread nuts on cookie sheet. Bake at 300F for 15 minutes. Mix butter and honey; pour over nuts. Stir until nuts are completely coated with the mixture. Store in airtight container. Yields about 1 1/3 cups of nuts.

CAJUN COCKTAIL NUTS

1/2 C. butter or margarine, melted
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. chili powder
2 to 3 dashes hot pepper sauce
1 lb. unsalted peanuts
1 lb. raw cashews
2 lb. unsalted, raw pecan halves
Garlic salt
Black pepper

Preheat oven to 275F. Mix butter, Worcestershire, chili powder and pepper sauce in glass measuring cup. Combine nuts in large roasting pan and drizzle with butter mixture, stirring to coat. Bake 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread out on paper towels (labeled for use with food) to dry. Season with garlic salt and black pepper.

CANDIED ALMONDS

1 1/2 C. granulated sugar
1 egg whites
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. salt
2 C. whole unblanched almonds

Preheat oven to 300F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Please sugar in a large bowl. Beat egg lightly in medium size bowl. Stir in vanilla extract and salt. Add almonds, tossing until coated with egg mixture. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the almonds to sugar in a bowl; toss well to coat almonds evenly. Remove coated almonds to the prepared baking sheet, spacing the almonds 1/2 inch apart. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until almonds are golden. Cool almonds completely on baking sheet. Store in airtight containers for up to 1 month.

MINTED PECANS

1 C. granulated sugar
1/2 C. water
1 T. corn syrup
1/8 tsp. salt
6 large marshmallows
1/2 tsp. peppermint
3 C. pecan halves


Cook sugar, water, syrup and salt slowly. Remove just before it reaches soft boil stage. Add marshmallows; stir until they melt. Add peppermint and nuts; stir until every nut is coated and mixture hardens. Turn onto wax paper and separate nuts with fork. Let dry. Nuts can be kept about a week tightly covered.

ORANGE CANDIED NUTS

3 C. pecan or walnut halves
2 T. butter or margarine
1/2 C. sugar, divided
1/2 C. light corn syrup
1/4 C. grated orange rind
3 T. orange juice
1 tsp. grated lemon rind


Place pecans in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Bake at 250F for 5 minutes. Remove from oven, and set aside. Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add 1/4 cup of the sugar, corn syrup, orange rind, juice and lemon rind, stirring well. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil, without stirring, for 5 minutes. Pour syrup over pecans, stirring gently to coat well. Bake at 250F for 1 hour, stirring frequently. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Spread onto greased baking sheets. Separate pecans with a fork. Let cool completely. Store in an airtight container. Yields 3 cups.

ITALIAN NUTS

4 C. nuts (any kind)
2 T. butter
2 T. soy sauce
1 envelope Good Seasons mild Italian salad dressing mix

Saut nuts in butter for 2 minutes. Stir in soy sauce. Remove pan from heat; stir in salad dressing mix. Place nuts in single layer to cool.

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