At Christmastime, I'm in the habit of delivering tasty things to friends, neighbours, teachers and co-workers in the weeks leading up to Christmas. I like having jars of things on hand to grab when I'm heading to a meeting or lesson - and a few quick tricks up my sleeve when there's a party to go to, I haven't showered yet, and don't have the gumption to stop at the liquor store to pick up wine. (A vintage jar of candied nuts or other tasty things is so much more interesting, anyway!)
So when So when I was asked to come up with something delicious for giving as part of the #PCDishOut challenge, I was all for it. Momofuku’s David Chang was even at the launch of the PC Insider’s Collection Boutique (which is open until the end of the year) on Toronto’s King Street West last month, so I consider myself in good company. They've created a collection of easy and unique solutions for meals, parties and gifts - let's face it, the holidays are all about gatherings, and most of those gatherings involve food. They've got you covered.
So I perused the PC® Insiders Collection and came up with more tasty ideas than even I could handle (over 70 tasty things!) -butter fudge! liquid coconut oil! Speculoos cookie butter!- I settled on the PC® 54% Cashews Deluxe Mixed Nuts, with cashews, almonds and pecans - it's always in my house during the holidays, and is the base for all my spiced and candied nut recipes - it even makes a mean brittle. (Cashews just remind me of Christmas - when I was a kid, I made my dad a stocking and saved up to go fill it with the cashews he loved so much.)
But! Then there was bacon-infused maple syrup, which they TURNED INTO A MAPLE BACON RYE SOUR. Yes. And so I picked up a bottle to toss with butter, spices and the aforementioned nuts, and I'm keeping the rest to put out on the bar at our Christmas party this weekend.
Meanwhile, I'm already on my second batch of these sweet-spiced nuts, which hit all the right notes; they keep well, are easy to pack and give (I like picking up vintage jars at thriftshops throughout the year, but you could also hit up the dollar store or craft store for Chinese takeout containers, or even fill reusable vessels like mugs or locally-made ceramic bowls), and I like having a stash on hand for my own Christmas party. Bonus: roughly chopped, these are perfect for sprinkling over a salad.
Keep an eye out - we'll be giving away a $100 PC® gift card soon, so that one lucky winner can spread a little more love this holiday season.
Maple-Bacon Spiced Nuts
3-4 cups PC® 54% Cashews Deluxe Mixed Nuts
1/4 cup PC® Bacon-flavoured Maple Syrup
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. chili powder
a good grinding of flaky salt
Preheat the oven to 325F.
In a medium bowl, toss the nuts, syrup, melted butter, cinnamon and chili powder; toss to combine everything well and spread out in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt.
Bake for 10-15 minutes, stirring once or twice, until golden and frangrant. Remove from the oven and stir again, then set aside to cool. Once completely cooled, store in an airtight container or pack into jars or tissue-lined Chinese take-out containers for gift-giving.
Makes 3-4 cups.
Disclaimer: I was compensated for participating (in my own voice) in the #PCDishOut challenge - thanks for helping us share a little more love, President's Choice!