Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holiday Eve!

Good morning everyone! Anyone else have the day off? Even though I do, I still couldn't sleep in! I was up sometime after 7AM, and since I didn't feel like going to the gym yet (dangerous since the longer it gets put off, the less likely it will happen) AND my back is sore from all that cardio dance this week, I opted to begin my holiday baking.

Tomorrow the hubs and I are heading over to my parents' house to eat, relax, and open a few gifts. Mom is planning on making a bunch of appetizers in lieu of a traditional meal. It's a good opportunity for her to try her hand at making new things, and for us to sample the results. I'm eager for her to try my Pfeffernussen (the white cookies at the bottom) and the new batch of Rum Balls I made with the extra rum. I figure dad will like the Salted Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies (at the top). I know he likes Diana's Lemon Rosemary Thumprint Cookies because I made some at Thanksgiving and he ate just about all of them. LOL.

Also already made this morning are the Sweet & Spice Rosemary Nuts featured in the latest issue of Edible Columbus. The only change I made was to cut the amount of cayenne in half so that it won't overpower my family. I'm so glad I have this massive 14" Calphalon pan mom bought me a couple of years ago for my birthday because the one pound of nuts the recipe calls for is A LOT and wouldn't have fit properly in my trusty 10" pan.

Sweet & Spicy Rosemary Nuts
Recipe from Edible Columbus:
  • 1 pound of nuts (I used half almond and half pecan)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 3 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary (I used 1 Tbsp of dried because I love rosemary!)
  • 1 tsp cayenne (I cut this down to 1/2 tsp)
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • Kosher salt
Melt the butter in a skillet. Add in the nuts and toss to coat, roasting over medium heat until they start to brown- make sure they don't burn! Add the maple syrup and toss to coat. Add in the rosemary and cayenne. Cook a few more minutes, then turn off the heat and add in the brown sugar. Pour the nut mixture onto a cookie sheet in a single layer to cool. While still hot, liberally sprinkle the salt over the nuts.

Now, the recipe didn't say anything about stirring, but I stirred the thing constantly because I was concerned it would burn, stick, etc. Mine aren't fully cooled yet, but a quick taste tells me they're FANTASTIC. Sweet & salty with that nice rosemary flavor followed by the heat of the cayenne. I just hope my family likes it, too! I'll definitely have to try this out with a different combo of spices. I was kinda hoping to try these today, but I'm low on almonds. Ugh, I don't want to go to the store today!

 So what are you up to today?

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