Holiday Nuts

I am loving DC in December. Christmas trees and beautiful window displays all over the city, Christmas markets and free performances every week…it’s wonderful! I love walking by houses and seeing beautifully lit Christmas trees through lovely bay windows. The cold weather makes me want to drink hot cocoa, eat sweet treats and watch marathons of Christmas movies all day. It’s what this season is all about, right?

One of my favorite sweets this time of year are candied nuts. Chocolate covered, honey-glazed, cinnamon sugar…you name it, I love it. I decided to make some sweet nuts that would satisfy my sweet tooth, but not make me feel horrible after eating a handful. My family visited us a couple of weeks ago and brought us some delicious pecans from my Aunt’s trees that I used to make delicious honey apple cinnamon pecans. I also made honey pumpkin spice almonds a while back that I’m barely getting around to posting. Both recipes are super easy and delicious, but I’m warning you, they are addicting!

Honey Apple Cinnamon Pecans

Honey Apple Cinnamon Pecans

Ingredients:
1/4 cup raw honey
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup apple sauce (no sugar added)
1 1/4 cup roughly chopped pecans

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 325 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a bowl, add the honey, salt, cinnamon, vanilla and apple sauce and whisk together until well combined. Add pecans and coat them well in the mixture.
3. Pour pecans on baking sheet and space them out on the sheet. Bake for 25 minutes and let them cool for about 15 minutes before eating.

Honey Pumpkin Spice Almonds

Honey Pumpkin Spice Almonds

Ingredients:
2 tbsp raw honey
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Dash of sea salt
1 1/2 cup raw almonds

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and pour them on to baking sheet.
3. Bake for 15-20 minutes, shaking or tossing nuts with tongs at the halfway point. Let cool for about 15 minutes before eating.

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Paleo Cajeta

Paleo cajeta
After several (bad) attempts at making a dairy-free cajeta, this one came out perfect. Cajeta is a milky, caramel-like sauce used to top desserts like churros and ice cream and is traditionally made with goat’s milk and piloncillo or sugar cane. I was beginning to think paleo cajeta was not possible after several rounds of sticky, burned pots. This cajeta is amazing drizzled on top of fruit, coconut ice cream, paleo pancakes and coffee. Try it as a sweetener to my café con leche.

Paleo Cajeta
Makes 1 cup

Ingredients:
21 oz full fat coconut milk (I used Thai Kitchen)
1/3 cup organic coconut palm sugar (I get mine from Trader Joe’s)
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp baking soda

Instructions:
1. Shake the coconut milk cans very well and pour into a large stockpot. Add in the vanilla extract, baking soda and coconut sugar and stir to combine. Throw in cinnamon stick.
2. Turn on heat to medium and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 1 hour, stirring cajeta with a wooden spoon every 10 minutes.
3. Turn off heat after 1 hour, remove cinnamon stick and let cool for about 30 minutes. Enjoy cajeta with your favorite dessert or pour into a glass jar and store in the refrigerator for a few weeks.

PRINTABLE RECIPE