When I was approached by Diamond Nuts to share some holiday recipes I jumped at the chance. One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is the food. At that time of year, I loosen my food rules about what I should be eating and as a result, I also often times have to loosen my belt! Sumptuous foods and wonderful smells are linked to memories and it’s hard to think of a holiday memory that isn’t related in some way to something delicious.
Another favorite aspect of the holidays is the sharing part. It’s a time for giving – sharing moments and gifts with friends and family. Sometimes this part can get a little tricky if the purse is a little light but we all know that it’s not the size or price of the gift, it’s the thought and love that went into a gift. That’s why I love gifting something sweet and delicious that I made to friends and family. You can create something with a lot of love that won’t break the bank.
Today I’m sharing two very simple, quick holiday recipes using Diamond Pecan Halves: Chocolate Cinnamon Pecan Butter and Holiday Spiced Pecans. You can double the recipes for larger batches and you’ll need some cute packaging to put the nuts in. These make great gift basket items – just don’t forget to save some for yourself!
Chocolate Cinnamon Pecan Butter Recipe
Inspired by Oh She Glows Dark Chocolate Pecan Butter
1/2 pound pecan halves
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (if you don’t like dark chocolate you can try milk or white chocolate)
1 tsp canola oil
1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Place the nuts in a dry pan and set over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 5 to 10 minutes. You’ll know they are done when they start to brown and smell toasted.
While the pecans are toasting put a small pot of water on to boil. When it comes to a boil take the pot off the heat.
Put the toasted pecan halves in your food processor and process for a few minutes, it can take anywhere from 3 to 10 minutes. During that time, periodically stop the processor and scrape down the pecan mixture that built up on the side of the bowl.
While processing the pecans, add the chocolate, oil and cinnamon to a small glass bowl and put the bowl in the pot of water. (You want to use a bowl that won’t actually touch the water but will hover over the water in the pot). Stir the chocolate, oil and cinnamon together until the chocolate is melted.
When the pecan butter is almost ready add the chocolate mixture and salt to it and process to combine, scraping the sides of the bowl every so often.
Put the pecan butter in a container and store in the fridge. The pecan butter gets firm in the fridge so let it sit at room temperature before using.
Spread the Chocolate Cinnamon Pecan Butter on toast or drizzle on ice cream. Or you can be like me and just eat it by the spoonful!
Holiday Spiced Pecans Recipe
Inspired by Alton Brown’s Spiced Pecans
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp of nutmeg
1/2 pound pecan halves
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tbsp packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tablespoons water
Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.
Mix the salt, allspice, ground cardamom, cinnamon, ground cloves, ground ginger and nutmeg together in a small bowl and set aside.
Place the nuts in a dry pan and set over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 5 to 10 minutes. You’ll know they are done when they start to brown and smell toasted. Add the butter and stir while it melts.
Next, add the spice mixture and combine.
Once the butter and spices are mixed in, add the brown sugar, vanilla extract and water, stirring for about 2 to 3 minutes until the mixture thickens and coats the nuts.
Scoop the nuts onto the prepared tray with parchment paper, making sure to separate the nuts and give them space. The nuts can be stored up to 3 weeks in an airtight container once they have cooled completely.
Happy Holidays and Happy Sharing!
100 years of holiday traditions you just don’t mess with. Classic family recipes call for a classic ingredient. Diamond of California nuts. The only nut good enough for your mom’s mom’s recipes is the only one that should be in yours. Diamond of California. Premium quality nuts since 1912.
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Diamond of California via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Diamond of California.