This year we’re really blessed to have lots of great gifts to share with our friends and family for Christmas. Just walking by our little tree in the corner with presents overflowing underneath reminds me of how much we have, and we’re so lucky to be able to give it away. By now, the day before Christmas Eve, I’ve done plenty of shopping, but some of the gifts I’m most excited about sharing are the ones I’ve made: little pint mason jars of candied cinnamon pecans and almonds. They’re a perfect treat for snacking and sharing; they’re salty and sweet; they’re easy to make, and with a bright little bow on top, they’re a super sweet gift for anyone you know, so I thought I’d share the recipe with all of you, too.
Here’s the disclaimer: this is not my original recipe. In fact, I should probably call these Sweet Aunt Briggett’s Cinnamon Pecans & Almonds, but, well, that takes so much more energy. My Aunt Briggett sent me the recipe so that I could make favors for my cousin Katlyn’s wedding, and Marlin and I couldn’t stay away from them. They’re completely addicting. I wish they were more difficult to make; knowing how quick and easy they are is really dangerous.
Okay, here goes:
1 cup sugar (you could use white or brown)
1/2 cup cold water
3/4 teaspoon salt (I like kosher, especially for sprinkling over the top at the end)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (this is no time for cheap substitutes–the real deal is irreplaceable)
4 cups pecan halves & almonds (or any mix of nuts you prefer)
Combine the sugar, water, salt & vanilla in a small saucepan. Boil to 24o degrees or about 4 minutes (whisking intermittently).
Remove from the heat and pour over the pecans & almonds in a large mixing bowl; add cinnamon.
Stir until the syrup forms an even sugar coating. Spread the nuts out flat on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper for cooling.
Try not to eat them all in one sitting. Easier said than done.
The warm cinnamon makes these perfect gifts for Christmas and any winter holiday. Small glass jars and a big red bow make them a beautiful little gift for anyone on your list!