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A Tuesday Threefer: Glazed nuts

10 Dec

Candied nutsThis is the year’s busiest entertaining season, so whether you’d planning a party or going to one as a guest, you might be able to use these recipes. They’re all terrific and  easy, especially the first two.

Candied or glazed nuts make a great party snack and they also make a great hostess gift if you’re a little tired of bringing wine. Just pack them in a pretty plastic bag or glass jar and add a little ribbon.

These are good recipes to make with kids or grandkids, as long as you’re careful not to let them touch the nuts when they first come out of the microwave or oven, because they are very hot.

Orange Candied Nuts

Ingredients:

¼ cup orange juice (pulp-free is best)
1 cup sugar
2 cups raw pecan halves (you can also use walnut halves, whole almonds, whole cashews, hazelnuts or a mixture)
A pinch of ginger and/or cinnamon (optional)

Directions:

Stir the sugar into the orange juice. Place the nuts in a shallow glass baking dish and pour the sugar mixture over them. Stir so that all the nuts are evenly coated. Cover with plastic wrap, leaving one corner open to vent, and microwave at MEDIUM for 6 minutes. While the nuts are cooking, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. After six minutes, stir the nuts and microwave at MEDIUM for 4 to 6 minutes more. The liquid should be almost — but not quite — absorbed by the nuts.

Turn the nuts out on the parchment paper and spread them out so that they are in a single layer. If you see a small pool of syrup, move some nuts into it.

Cool for at least a half-hour, then break into small clumps.

Cinnamon Glazed Nuts

Ingredients:

candied nuts2 pounds nuts (pecans, cashews, almonds or a mixture)
1 large egg white
⅔ cup sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well to coat the nuts. Spread the nuts over the baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 15-25 minutes, turning once with a spatula. Nuts should be bubbly and lightly browned.

Remove from oven and cool completely. Break up the nuts and store in an airtight container.

Sweet and Spicy Glazed Nuts

Ingredients:

2 pounds roasted nuts (pecans, cashews, almonds, pistachios, peanuts or a mixture)
1 cup brown sugar
¼ cup water
1 Tbs. hot red sauce, such as Tabasco
1 tsp. salt (omit if the nuts are already salted)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2 large baking sheets with nonstick spray, or line with parchment paper.

Combine all ingredients except nuts in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and cook until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat.

Place nuts in a large bowl and pour the glaze over. Toss well to coat. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the nuts to the prepared baking sheets (discard any remaining glaze – or use with more nuts).

Bake the nuts, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes until the nuts are golden. Cool completely and then break up the clumps.

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Judith’s Granola

21 Apr

GranolaI know I posted a Passover granola recipe not all that long ago. Now I want to share my all-year-round granola recipe!

I found this recipe many years ago when I was searching online for a way to make fat-free granola. I’ve modified the recipe only slightly. It’s from Judith’s Garden Bed and Breakfast in Goshen, Vermont. I liked the recipe so much that we almost stayed at Judith’s Garden one year when we drove to Maine to visit Aaron at the College of the Atlantic. (Plans changed when we read about a super exhibit of quilts at a museum in Shelburne, Vermont, so we stayed overnight there instead.)

I was going to include a link to the B&B, but alas it has closed – the owner decided to concentrate on her landscape business instead. But she told me via email that she still makes this granola and eats it every day!

Judith’s original recipe made twice as much. I find that this amount suits the two of us fine. It fits on a single baking sheet in the oven, and it lasts well stored in an air-tight canister.

We like to sprinkle a little bit on the top of regular cold cereal or mix it with fruit and yogurt. It’s also good to eat as a snack.

If you put it in a pretty glass jar or a fancy plastic bag tied with a nice ribbon, it makes a dandy hostess gift!

Ingredients:

5 cups regular (not quick) rolled oats
¼ cup sesame seeds
¼ cup sunflower seeds
¾ to 1 cup chopped nuts (I usually use walnuts, but pecans and almonds are good too)
1 tsp. cinnamon
Pinch salt
½ cup honey
½ cup apple juice
1 cup raisins and/or other dried fruit (I often mix the raisins with chopped dried apricots or cranberries)

Directions:

Mix honey and apple juice in a glass bowl or measuring cup and heat in microwave until hot (about 1½ minutes on high). Combine all other ingredients except the raisins or other dried fruit in a large bowl. Pour the hot honey-apple juice mixture over the oats mixture and stir well until the oats are evenly coated. Let this sit for 5 to 15 minutes so the oats can absorb the liquid and swell a bit.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a large baking sheet (the kind with sides) with foil or parchment paper and spread the oat mixture out on it evenly, breaking up any very large clumps.

Bake for 20 minutes, then stir it on the sheet (the mixture at the edges may brown faster than the rest, so move it from the edges to the center). Bake for another 15-20 minutes until the granola is fairly dry and lightly browned. Add the raisins and/or other dried fruit and mix. Cool thoroughly and store in an air-tight container.

Passover Granola

28 Mar

Passover GranolaI was a little hesitant about trying to make granola out of matzo. If you’ve ever tried one of those Passover cold cereals you’ll understand! But there’s a new product out this year called Matzola, a granola-like snack. I had a sample at a women’s event a few weeks ago and it’s very tasty. Only problem is it costs about $7 for a small can. So I went online to look for a recipe for Passover granola and found this one that originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times. It’s very nice mixed with yogurt for breakfast — and it’s also a tasty snack!

Ingredients:

2 cups matzo farfel
1 cup unpeeled almonds, cut in half or coarsely chopped
½  cup shredded sweetened coconut
½ cup honey
¼  cup oil
½ cup raisins
½ cup diced dried apricots

Directions:

Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine the farfel, almonds and coconut in a large bowl. Pour in the honey and oil and mix well. Let it sit for 5 or 10 minutes. Spread the mixture on the baking sheet.  Bake until golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. (It tends to get cooked faster at the outer edges of the baking sheet. Check it frequently to make sure it doesn’t burn.)

Add the raisins and apricots and toss well. Transfer to a platter and cool completely. (It will seem a little “wet” when it comes out of the oven, but it gets more solid as it cools.) Store in an airtight container.