Recipes, memories and random thoughts from my kitchen
Sunday, December 17, 2006
December 17 -- Two nutty confections
At Christmastime, all types of snack mixes are popular as gifts and just to have around the house for family and friends to nibble on. These two nutty treats have been particular favorites with us.
The first is a treat for coffee lovers.
COFFEE WALNUTS 1 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup white sugar 1/2 cup sour cream 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder Combine ingredients in a saucepan and cook to the soft-ball stage. Remove from heat and toss in: 3 cups broken walnuts. Spread on wax-paper-lined cookie sheets to dry. The nuts should be fairly separate, not in large clumps.
Next, we have
ORANGE SUGARED PECANS 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed 3 tablespoons evaporated milk 1 tablespoon butter 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange peel 2 cups pecan halves In small heavy saucepan, combine the sugar and evaporated milk. Cook over medium heat to 234° (soft-ball stage), stirring occasionally. Add butter and orange peel; stir to blend. Add pecan halves; stir until all are coated. Spread the pecans on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper or parchment paper. When candy coating is firm, gently break pecans apart. Store in covered containers.
The first nut recipe is from Cook & Tell. The second is from a Taste of the Country cookbook. Both of these nut recipes make wonderful gifts. You can buy tins or jars to put them in, or, for a vintage look, save cans through the year from peanuts, mixed nuts or cashews and cover them with Christmas wrapping paper. That’s the old-timey way!
I live in scenic northern New England with my handsome husband. We're empty-nesters with a bunch of adorable grandchildren. We love (tent) camping and traveling, but don't get away as often as we'd like to.