hard to believe it, but summer has started here! Last week was a whirlwind. All the end of school activities combined with starting a new DIY project - planking the ceiling in the mudroom - well, despite my best intentions, I woke up the last day of school and realized I hadn't done any teacher gifts! I managed to pull it off, but remind me next year not to wait til the last minute ;)
I had planned to make candied nuts anyways, and had all the supplies I needed, so I got busy in the kitchen while the kids got dressed for school. I tried out a crock pot recipe the weekend before, and while they tasted good, they weren't very yummy looking. There are several ways to make sugared nuts. Some involve boiling a sugar syrup, some use egg whites, and the crock pot recipe I tried used butter and powdered sugar.
The recipe I ended up using is very simple, and I made two double batches with great success! Click here for the original recipe. I love allrecipes.com! Here's the adjustments I made. I made a double batch, subbing vanilla for the water and using a mixture of pecans, almonds and walnuts. One thing about the recipe - it calls for a pound of nuts (2 if you're doubling). I should have measured that out for you in cups, but like I said - I was in a hurry! I used my scale to weigh it out. I also cut the sugar to 2/3 c. and 1.5 tsp. of salt for my first batch - which meant the nuts were very lightly sweet and salty. My 2nd batch, I used a whole cup of sugar and 1 tsp. of salt, because I wanted them to be less salty and more sweet.
For the teacher gifts, I filled mason jars with nuts and tied a tag to them with baker's twine.
Here's the tag I made - or make your own! We debated some different sayings - how about "from your favorite nuts!" or "hope we didn't drive you nuts this year!" (I was going to do that one for our bus drivers) Oh - when I printed this at home, it came out fuchsia instead of red. Didn't have time to figure that one out :)
So more on that DIY project soon, I promise! We're going to try to finish the planks today and then I need to caulk and paint, hang trim - ugh, it might take us all summer! Why is it that when you start a new project it keeps growing? You think, hmm, I really should put a fresh coat of paint on that, too, and that needs redone and before you know it you've bit off more than you can chew! wish us luck!