Not a baker? You can still make this sugar & spice candied nut mix for gift-giving. Tossed in sugar and spices, this holiday nut recipe is a great gift to give or to share at your holiday dessert table.
Not everyone is a baker and that is why I wanted to share with you an easy sugar & spice candied nut mix that you can pull together for your holiday giving that is as impressive as any holiday cookie.
Making your own flavored nut mixes might not be something you have considered for the holidays, but once you try this delicious nut mix, you will have a hard time giving these sugared and spiced nut mixes away.
For many years, I was embarrassed about my lack of baking skills. Despite taking courses on baking and cake decorating, I never could master the art making baked treats.
What changed though was my perception of my cooking skills after watching those early episodes of Rachael Ray.
While Rachael Ray could make an incredible breakfast, lunch, brunch, dinner, brinner, etc.., she ALWAYS defaulted to store-bought dessert hacks and prepared doughs for making her desserts.
It helped ME to realize that just because you don’t bake doesn’t mean you aren’t an incredible cook.
Baking requires exact ingredients, weighing, and doing thoughtful baking practices (like sifting flour).
Cooking though is measured with my heart. I can test flavors, and taste-test as I go, adding and taking away as I cook.
I think the biggest challenge, for me, has been translating those recipes for you.
I mean, how do you say, add the salt until it tastes right on your tongue?
Let’s move on to this delicious recipe that you ABSOLUTELY can taste test until you get the perfect balance of sweet, salty, or even spicy.
Here are a few questions that get asked often on this recipe.
Where is The Best Place to Buy Nuts for Gifts?
Let’s be honest, nuts aren’t the cheapest gift to give so I recommend shopping around for the best prices.
If you have a membership to Costco or Sam’s Club, you can buy these ingredients in bulk to save on your cost per pound.
I also found this Reddit thread on where to buy the cheapest nuts and thought it had some incredible suggestions that I wouldn’t have thought of.
What Are the Best Nuts for a Holiday Nut Mix?
You can choose any combination of mixed nuts that you might love or just keep things simple and roast only your absolute favorite. In this recipe, I’m just using three of my favorites- pecans, almonds, and walnuts.
You can definitely use your own favorite combination for your sugar and spice nuts.
My favorite variety of nuts include pecans, almonds, and walnuts.
These nuts are then tossed with an egg white, water, sugar and some of my favorite holiday spices- cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and allspice.
Once you pull them hot out of the oven, I sprinkle liberally with kosher salt to add that sweet and salty combination
How Do I Package Nuts for Gift-Giving?
This time of year, the craft stores are loaded with food packaging for your gifts. I love to check the seasonal aisles in Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, and Jo-Ann Fabrics.
The important thing is that they are airtight, especially if you are giving a large amount as a gift. While these paper boxes make a cute display, an inexpensive tin or even recycling nut tins will keep your treat fresher longer.
To make the most of your recycled container, consider wrapping it with festive gift wrap or scrapbooking paper to make it more unique.
Don’t have a lot of money in the budget? No worries at all!
Did you know that you can order items IN BULK from the Dollar Store?
This shop usually has a TON of great packaging solutions for just one dollar.
Target’s Dollar Spot might also be a great option, if you have on a budget.
Can I also remind you how IMPORTANT it is to have this app on your phone when visiting your craft stores? It costs nothing and it gives you cash back on all your purchases. Here’s $10 to get you started ASAP.
Not only does this make a good amount for sharing, you can easily double the recipe.
Package these nut mixes up in a pretty box tied with ribbon.
I actually found these little Wilton boxes at our local grocery store, but I am sure they have something similar at your favorite craft store.
I lined the interior of them with a little tissue paper and finished them with satin ribbon.
- ¾ cup sugar (you can use white or brown sugar)
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 egg white, lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- Coarse salt for sprinkling
- 2 cups pecans, halves
- 2 cups whole almonds
- 2 cups walnuts
- Optional: Add a pinch of cayenne pepper to make these into sweet & spicy nuts.
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
- In a large bowl, mix together the beaten egg white, sugar, and all of your spices (except the salt).
- Add the nuts and toss until evenly coated. Make sure to stir to coat each individual piece well.
- Spread nuts in a single layer, evenly, onto a greased or lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
- Spread out on parchment paper and sprinkle, while still hot, liberally with coarse salt.
- Package for your gift-giving needs.
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Looking for more great holiday treats? Here are a few of our favorite recipes!
What are some of your favorite treats to share around the holidays?