A few Christmases ago, in my quest for frugality and creativity, I realized that food-themed gift baskets may be THE perfect gift…
- They’re like stockings for adults.
- Everyone needs to eat (that’s just science).
- Making things is therapeutic.
- People tend to appreciate handmade gifts.
- You can make them look cute as all get out without spending a ton of money.
- They’re completely customizable.
Gift baskets are always a hit with my family. I like to include a mix of fresh-baked items and ones that have a bit of a “shelf life” because, let’s be honest, nobody is hurting for sweet and savoury goodies at Christmastime. This year is round three or four of my food-themed baskets, and I’m doing it bigger and better! This is the first in a series of posts where I show you what goes into making these baskets, starting with candied pecans.
Candied pecans are the perfect addition to my gift baskets. They’re delicious, quick and easy to make, and have that wow factor! Making your own also saves money. Store-bought candied pecans can cost anywhere from $10 to $20 per package. I buy raw pecans close to Christmas when they go on sale or when Bulk Barn has a coupon. This time, I spent $10 on the raw pecans and it made approximately 3 large servings.
The beauty of making candied pecans is that you can mess around with the sugar-to-cinnamon-to-salt ratios and they pretty well always come out tasting great. The original recipe comes from All Recipes and I tweaked the ratios to suit my taste.
You will need:
- 0.4 lb (200 g) whole or halved pecans
- 0.5 cup white sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 0.5 tsp salt
- 1 egg white
- 1 tbsp cool water
Whisk the egg white and water until they’re frothy. Optional step – take a cool action shot:
Add all the dry ingredients into the liquid. Mix well to coat the pecans.
Spread the pecans in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 250°C for an hour. Every 15-20 minutes, move the pecans around so they brown evenly. This is what they look like about halfway through cooking:
When they come out, let them cool completely before packaging them.
Pretty Pack o’ Pecans
When it comes to packaging them up, the options are endless. I found these sweet jars at Superstore for $1.00 each. I think anyone would be delighted to receive this yummy snack!
Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more holiday gift basket ideas throughout the week!