Heartland Nuts

Nut Gifts

We go through it every holiday season - we're invited to party after party with no idea what to take as a gift to share and eat. We have a list of co-workers, children's teachers, and paperboys we want to acknowledge with more than a card. Traditionally, edible gifts are considered tasteful (in more ways than one) and thoughtful when homemade. If you are looking for edible gifts to give, look no further than nuts.

Every imaginable nut is readily available at the grocery and specialty stores, especially during the holidays. Nuts make terrific gifts when mixed together in a decorative tin and when used in any combination of cookies and candies. The ideal way to create multiple nut gifts is to spend an afternoon creating a variety of nut-based edibles.

Plan ahead by determining the extent of what you want to make or bake. Many cookie recipes call for nuts, such as macadamia and walnut. Breads, such as cinnamon raisin and banana nut bread call for nuts as well. You may also choose to season and roast nuts or candy coat them as with peanut brittle or chocolate fudge. Once you've decided what you will make, be sure to purchase plenty of each nut and then some extra for mixing plain and containerizing.

To present mixed nuts as a gift, simply line a decorative tin with parchment or wax paper and layer in a variety of nuts. Gently shake the container to mix the nuts together and top with a bow. To turn baked goods or candy into a presentable gift, you can use more decorative tins lined with paper, or purchase candy boxes at a cake supply or craft supply retailer. Some boxes have windowed lids while others are solid. Simply attach a bow to spruce up the box or wrap it complete with paper, ribbon, and bow. To combine a variety of goodies in one container tins work best with paper separating each layer of treat.

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