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The Misadventures of Mrs. B: Addictive Candied Nuts

Cook. Writer. Wife. Daughter. Sister. Friend. Klutz.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Addictive Candied Nuts

Thanks to everyone who offered encouragement and support last week when I opened up regarding my tendency to overdo things during the holidays, especially when it comes to throwing a party.  I didn't go as far as I usually do, but I did manage to fall asleep before the party was over.  Like a lame-o.  One day I'll manage to stay awake, I swear.

Oh, how I wish I had managed to get pictures of the spread I put out.  I truly do.  There were stuffed mushrooms, shrimp cocktail, chicken skewers, barbecue meatballs...it went on and on.

I'm not gonna lie.  It was a lot of food.

Sadly, I wasn't finished putting it all out when guests showed up and started eating.  So I sent Rob into the dining room with the camera to try to get some shots of what was there before it was decimated.


I used sharp cheddar, brie, garlicky boursin, fresh mozzarella and Maytag blue cheeses (the Maytag being separate from the rest due to an allergy among the guests).  Accompaniments were sliced pepperoni, candied nuts, sliced pears, grapes and honey.  On the side, hummus and a delicious roasted tomato bruschetta (which I found at She Wears Many Hats).  Crackers and a basket of fresh-from-the-oven crostini completed the spread.  

And it all fit in with my "less work, greater effect" plan for the night.  So it was a win-win all around!

I fully intend to put this together again on New Years, and promise to take actual pictures next time!

To make amends, let me share with you my absolute favorite recipe for candied nuts.  They're pretty much ridiculous, addictive and incredible.  Put a bowl of these babies out at your holiday gathering and watch them disappear (which is why I always hold some aside for later, but that's just between you and me).  They went well with all the cheeses I used...as well as by the handful, several days later.

Not like I would know or anything...


Candied Nuts

1 lb shelled walnuts or pecans (or a combination thereof, which I used)

1 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper.

In medium saucepan, combine sugar, cinnamon, salt, milk and vanilla.  Heat over medium-high for 8 minutes, or until mixture reaches soft-ball stage of 236 degrees F.  

Immediately add nuts and mix thoroughly, making sure to coat as evenly as possible.  Pour nuts out onto prepared cookie sheet and break up into pieces.  Allow to cool completely and enjoy!

So what about you? Do you have any go-to appetizer or snack recipes which you use during the holidays?

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8 Comments:

Blogger Lyndsey said...

Looks like quite a spread. My go to appetizer is hummus, so easy to make and so many variations of it, and I always have a can of chickpeas on hand. During the holidays I make my moms shhrimp dip, it's a must!

December 15, 2010 at 10:25 AM

 
Blogger Natalie said...

Oh, my sister makes this buffalo chicken dip that is to die for! She has to triple the recipe because we all love it!

Your spread is fantastic! I think you should be proud of it..some of us strive for it :)

December 15, 2010 at 3:36 PM

 
Blogger Liz said...

I can eat bruschetta by the bowlful, but tempt me with some overly-processed meat, and I'd choose that any day!

December 15, 2010 at 4:02 PM

 
Anonymous redkathy said...

Oh my dad would love these! Looks like a great party spread too. Hungry guests are good and late dishes a surprise for them :)

December 15, 2010 at 6:36 PM

 
Blogger Christina said...

Great spread! I looooove cheese so I love to have a cheese plate out. My favorite for this time of year is cheese with cranberries in it. So good (if you can find it)!

These candied nuts sound great. I make a different version for salads, but I want to try this one next!

December 17, 2010 at 10:51 AM

 
Blogger Miz Helen said...

Hi Jen,
Your Candied Nuts look very good. Thank you for sharing your recipe and you have a great week end!

December 17, 2010 at 5:52 PM

 
Blogger Jane said...

Mmmmm...I love candied pecans!
Thanks for sharing your recipe...
Jane (artfully graced)

December 17, 2010 at 9:35 PM

 
Blogger Donnie said...

I'm glad you had a good time at your own party. I make candied nuts quite often. Thanks for the recipe.

December 17, 2010 at 10:05 PM

 

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