Spiced nuts with cranberries and coconut, and smelling like Christmas

Hey all

As I am rather confined to home at the moment I have been passing a lot of the time watching the food network/ good food channel. I keep seeing loads of Christmas specials (although have not seen the comedy gold that is Fanny Craddock yet this year) and have been recreating a few recipes at home to add to our gift hampers. I saw a version of this recipe, but forgot to write it down/ record the programme/ and could not find it on the internet.

Anyway, on with the recipe:

Mix 3 cups raw almonds, 1 cup dried cranberries and 1/2 cup coconut in a bowl. Preheat the oven to 180C and line a tray with baking paper.

Then in a small pan gently heat 3 tbs butter (I used Pure spread so they are vegan also), 3 tbs light brown soft sugar, 3 tbs dark brown soft sugar and a squirt of maple syrup.

Let it bubble away for a few minutes, then add a drop of vanilla, a drop of orange extract, a tsp cinnamon and a tsp mixed spice.

Pour the mixture over the nuts and dried fruit, and mix mix mix. Mix until they are all coated in the mixture. It gets very sticky!

Pour it onto the baking tray and spread it out.

Bake for 15-20 mins until they have darkened slightly (but not burnt). Some of the sugars will have gone hard when you take it out. Then leave to cool on the tray for a little bit before breaking it up.

Bag it up ready for gifts, and of course keep some for yourself!

Yum! They smell like Christmas 🙂

As well as giving gifts I was lucky enough to receive one this week- a few friends have popped over this week to keep me company, and one of them (who is the most amazing baker/ sweet maker) made me some salted caramels as a get well gift- in the prettiest bag too!

Seriously, how cute is this bag? Apparently it is for cupcakes but I think caramels are a much better filling!

I also ordered some rawr chocolate- they do Christmas chocolate with is flavoured with orange oil, cinnamon and nutmeg. Again- amazing- tastes like Christmas. 🙂

The only smell that tops it is a gingerbread house. I have made the pieces but not yet stuck it all together/ decorated it yet. I love it so much when we have one for decoration because the smell just drifts through the house the entire time. Mmmm.

What smells do you associate with Christmas? What are your favourite edible gifts to give/ receive?

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13 thoughts on “Spiced nuts with cranberries and coconut, and smelling like Christmas”

  1. Oooh this post is perfect timing! I’m planning to spend the whole day in the kitchen tomorrow making gifts, and the only thing I hadn’t decided on a recipe for yet was “spiced/honey roasted nuts” so I think I will probably make these instead! 🙂

    Did you try them as you were bagging them up? Are they super sweet? The main person I’m making them for is my Mum – she doesn’t have that much of a sweet tooth so won’t love the brownies, cookies, chocolate pretzels etc I’m planning to make (although no doubt will still eat some!) but I’m giving her (bought) chutneys as well so I think a little sweetness will be ok! 🙂

    Hope you’re not in too much pain and still able to enjoy the holidays, salted caramels sound like a great get well gift 🙂 xx

  2. I did try them of course, for quality control purposes 😉
    They are sweet, but not too sweet, not like the ones you buy fresh and hot.
    I look forward to seeing what you create in the kitchen tomorrow 🙂

  3. Those nuts look spectacular. I’ve never made my own flavoured nuts before!

    I’m happy with ANY edible gifts, but if they’ve got chocolate in them, then there’s no stopping me! Yum.

  4. Those nuts look amazing and so easy to make! I love to give and receive unusual chocolate, I like the packaging 🙂 The most Christmassy smell for me is cloves – it reminds me of the marzipan fruits with the little cloves in the top and those oranges with the candles in at church (there is a proper name and I can’t remember! No longer a church goer now I’m older!) Nice that your friends are coming round to keep you company too 🙂

  5. Ali- with you on the chocolate 🙂
    Laura- they are Christingles (but I only know because we make them at school!).
    Allison- yes the pine cones and real Christmas tree scent is lovely

  6. Oh, Fanny Craddock, bless her! As soon as I saw the first line of this post title, I knew I’d like what was in it – and wow, I was right, they look so, so good 🙂
    And the smell of pine needles or satsumas sums up Christmas for me, every time!

  7. I think YOU are the most amazing baker/cook Maria! You always make such delicious looking things! The spiced nuts sound delicious! 🙂

    I think gingerbread is my favourite Christmas smell! I made some today and it was amazing! And cinnamon too…and peppermint!

  8. Nicole- it is tempting but then you end up burning your mouth on the hot sugar, not that I would know or anything! 🙂

  9. I made these this morning – amazing! I was a bit worried at first that there wasn’t enough caramel to cover all the nuts, but they worked brilliantly. For me (with my super sweet tooth) I’d perhaps make more caramel, but as gifts for my Mum etc they are perfect – and it’s a nice treat when you bite into a sweet cluster! Thanks Maria, great recipe as always! 🙂

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