Who doesn’t like getting delicious food for a present?
Last year for a present, I gave one of my brothers the gift of a free home cooked something for every month of the year. Since he lives in Washington, DC, I probably spent more on shipping then on the cost of the ingredients, but I think he really appreciated it. He doesn’t make much for himself beyond pizza.
This year I gave out some of my homemade applesauce that I canned, some homemade granola, and maple roasted peanuts (and walnuts). I tried not to give anything that was too unhealthy, but still stuff that was delicious and special.
The peanuts and the walnuts I did like this:
I heated maple syrup to 240 degrees (F), and then immediately dumped it on top of the peanuts in a bowl. Then I mixed it all up. The syrup starts crystallizing almost immediately, so mix it up, and then spread it out on a cookie sheet to cool.
Of course when I went to make my big batch (after the test batch), I didn’t get the syrup quite hot enough and it didn’t crystallize. Everything hardened into a sticky mess. So I put it in the oven and baked it until the syrup started crystallizing in there, and then pulled it out.
They came out great! Everyone loved them. I will definitely make them again.
I put them in a variety of jars with labels that I printed up from the computer. I called them Mama’s Maple Roasted Peanuts (or Walnuts). They were so good, I was wishing I had made some for myself, because of course, I didn’t think of that.
They were the perfect thing to keep handy for surprise gifts. You know, you get together with someone that you weren’t expecting to see around Christmas time, and I like to come with a present–but not anything big so as to make them uncomfortable for not giving you anything. The maple roasted nuts were just the right touch of special and simple that you could give to anyone.
I gave some to my brothers, my dad, my friends, the mailman… 🙂