Thursday, December 22, 2011

Last Minute Gift Idea

It never fails. You are running out the door to a party and your stash of hostess gifts is absolutely depleted. Has this ever happened to you? Especially this time of year? Well have no fear! I have the perfect solution to last minute hostess gifts, coworker gifts or even for a friend (who doesn't have a nut allergy!). This is super easy and chances are, you have all the ingredients in your kitchen right now.

I discovered this recipe a few years ago while thumbing through my trusty Williams Sonoma Holiday Entertaining Cookbook. I've made a habit of making up several batches of these and having them on hand during the holiday season. They look super cute in mason jars or canning jars with a beautiful Christmas ribbon tied around them. I grow rosemary year round and using your own, homegrown herbs makes recipes like this one, that much more special!

Here's the recipe:

The combination of rosemary, cumin and cayenne pepper lends an irresistible flavor to toasted nuts. Pack these savory gifts in small decorative tins or in cellophane bags tied with a ribbon.


  • 2 1/2 cups mixed raw nuts such as pecans,
      walnuts and peanuts
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 Tbs. sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper


Preheat an oven to 300°F.

Place the nuts in a bowl. In a small, heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, warm the olive oil. Add the rosemary and stir until aromatic, about 1 minute. Pour the seasoned oil over the nuts. Add the sugar, cumin, salt, black pepper and cayenne and stir to coat the nuts evenly. Transfer the nuts to a baking pan.

Bake, stirring occasionally, until the nuts are toasted, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool completely.

Store the nuts in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

Simple, yet thoughtful...and not to mention, delish! Have fun out there my little socialites!
Merry Christmas! :)

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