Now that Halloween's over, there's no denying that Christmas is on its merry way! With less than 8 weeks to go, it's time to make sure you have a good holiday plan in place, and start taking steps towards getting things done. A little bit every week is a whole lot more fun than doing everything at once at the last minute (I speak from much experience here). If you missed the post I did back in September on getting organized for Christmas, go check it out now!
To help you feel less time and money stressed, I'm going to be posting at least one inexpensive and easy-to-make gift idea each week. We do a lot of food gifts here, as a) I love to cook and b) everyone loves them, so I'm going to do a series of "Gifts from the Kitchen" posts, and will probably do some non-food gift ideas, too, as inspiration strikes.
To kick things off, I'm going to share a recipe I've been giving as a gift for many years. These candied peanuts are always a HUGE hit - my dad would be very disappointed if there were not some of these tucked in his gift basket. Other recipients of this gift have been known to try and hide them from their spouses ::grin::: Not only are they super addictive, they are really easy to make, with only four ingredients. I usually end up making four or five batches of this during the holiday season. Because it's so quick to whip up a batch, I usually make it up within a couple days of when I plan to give it as it's really hard for anyone around here to resist eating it.
Ingredients:2 cups salted peanuts
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla
In a large frying pan, heat the nuts, sugar and butter over medium heat, stirring constantly. After a few minutes, you should see the sugar start to caramelize. Keep stirring for several more minutes, until the sugar is fully caramelized (a deep golden brown and nice and gooey). DO NOT get impatient and crank up the heat, or you are likely to end up with a blackened mess.
Remove from the heat and add vanilla. Spread peanut mixture onto parchment-paper lined cookie sheets to cool (be careful - it's VERY hot!) Let cool and break into small chunks.
I shared this recipe at Tasty Tuesday, the GCC Recipe Swap and Friday Favorites.