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Gift Ideas for Special Occasions
Spiced Nuts

Buy some small Christmas tins, use a crystal bowl, or tie them up in netting, but give some spiced nuts as gifts to friends or as a hostess gift. Here are recipes for two kinds, one sweet and the other more of a barbecued flavor.

Sugar-Glazed Nuts

4 egg whites
2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brut champagne
2 tsp. salt
8 c. whole nuts
3 tsp. ground spices

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Spray 2 (15 X 10-inch) baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, lightly beat egg whites. Add the sugar, champagne, and salt. Whisk until blended. Add the nuts and spices of your choice (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, etc.) Stir until coated. Bake at 250 degrees for 1 to 1 1/4 hours or until the coating is absorbed and the nuts appear dry. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Remove from pans at once and cool on waxed paper-lined wire racks; separate the nuts with two forks. Store the mixture at room temperature in airtight containers. Yield: 11-12 cups.

Warm Spicy Pecans

2 T. paprika
1 T. chili powder
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. curry powder
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
1 c. sugar
4 c. water
4 c. pecan halves

In a small bowl, combine all of the spice ingredients and mix well. Butter a large baking sheet. In a large saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the pecans and cook 5 minutes. Drain the pecans in a colander. Spread the pecans out on the jelly-roll pan. Sprinkle with the spice mix. Bake at 300 degrees for 25 minutes, stirring the pecans occasionally. These are good served warm. Yield: 4 cups.



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