The holidays have always been one of my favorite times of year. I love the way that despite all the hustle and bustle, there is a renewed focus on family and time spent together. Of course, one of the other parts of the holidays that I look forward to is all the delicious food. The smells and tastes of Christmas will forever conjure meaningful memories filled with warmth, laughter and joy.
As an adult, one of my favorite holiday treats were my mother in-law’s sugared mixed nuts. Each year, I couldn’t wait until she showed up with a sampling from her first batch just for me or when she would surprise me with a bowl on her counter when I stopped by for a visit.
Oh, and I wasn’t the only one who loved her seasonal snack that somehow blended together an almost perfect combination of salty and sweet. Those sugared mixed nuts that were just the perfect blend of salty and sweet, became a gift that family, friends and neighbors couldn’t wait to receive each year. They became so popular, people used to tease her about trying to secure a spot on her gift list months in advance just to make sure that got their share that year. Others would try to lovingly cajole her into making them at other times of year, but she refused. Tradition was important to her and in her mind sugared mixed nuts belonged only to Christmastime.
Several years ago, my mother-in-law passed away after a truly heroic battle with ovarian cancer. She was a special woman and we were grateful that we had as many Christmas’s with her as we did. We’ve continued several of the holiday traditions that she started with us and our children, and of course that includes making her sugared mixed nuts.
I know that she would love to see this tradition find its way into other families, because she was someone who always loved to share her ideas and favorite things with everyone. It’s actually quite a simple recipe and only requires a few ingredients.
Sugared Mixed Nuts Recipe
What You’ll Need:
1 lb Planters Deluxe Mixed Nuts
1 egg white
1 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon (I confess I use a little more b/c I LOVE cinnamon)
Pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees. Beat the egg white in a large bowl until it is frothy.
Add the nuts and coat them all evenly. In a separate bowl, mix together the sugar, salt and cinnamon. Add the sugar mixture to the nuts and again mix together until the nuts are covered equally.
Spread the nuts onto a cookie sheet (cover with parchment paper or grease lightly to prevent sticking). Bake for 1 hour, turning with a spatula every 15 minutes.
The standard recipe provided creates about 15 servings, but I typically double the recipe and will make several batches over the course of a week or two. This way I have plenty for my family and then we also have a large enough quantity to give as gifts for teachers, neighbors, friends and all the special people on our gift list.
Now, I have to let you in on a little secret, while the recipe really is delicious, part of the reason people loved getting these sugared mixed nuts each holiday was the creative ways my mother-in-law would package them. She was incredibly crafty and had such a talent for taking simple gifts and presenting them in ways that were beautiful and unique.
While I could never fully recreate all the original ways she packaged these tasty holiday goodies, I’ve got a couple different ideas for you.
Jars- It’s super easy to grab a mason jar, a piece of fabric and a ribbon and in mere minutes, you’ve got an adorable holiday gift! Be sure to check out holiday themed jars at the craft store or any home decor store, too!
Tins- Christmas tins are available everywhere, from the grocery store to the dollar store this time of year and any of these festive containers are the simplest and quickest way to give your food gifts throughout December!
Unique Boxes- I shopped the party supply aisle for this fun zebra print takeout container and added various textures of ribbon, simply tied along the handle. Don’t forget to check the non-holiday areas of your favorite store for more unique packaging.
Pillow Boxes- These little white boxes come in a pack of 8 and you can quickly assemble them, adding bright ribbons or even washi tape. I love these smaller packages as surprises to welcome your co-workers one morning or even as part of your Christmas dining table; they’d make perfect place cards or favors after a dinner party, too.
Sugared Mixed Nuts A Simple Homemade Holiday Gift
- 1 can 15.25 oz Planters Deluxe Mixed Nuts
- 1 egg white
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees.
- Beat the egg white in a large bowl until it is frothy.
- Add the nuts to the bowl and coat them all evenly.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the sugar, salt and cinnamon.
- Add the sugar mixture to the nuts and again mix together until the nuts are covered equally.
- Spread the nuts onto a cookie sheet (cover with parchment paper or grease lightly to prevent sticking).
- Bake for 45 minutes, turning with a spatula every 15 minutes.
Looking for MORE delicious holiday recipes?
Do you have a favorite homemade gift you love to give at the holidays?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and provided product samples by Kraft Foods, but the content, ideas and opinions expressed here are all my own.