I love gifting food - especially treats that are simple to whip up. A few years ago, I made these cocoa roasted nuts and they were a big hit. They are relatively simple to make - however, they aren't the prettiest. But that's okay because during the holidays it's all about the trimming! Just pack up a mason or weck jar and wrap a fancy ribbon around it and maybe print off one of my free printable foodie gift tags and now you've got a tasty gift that looks festive and pretty to boot!
(adapted from Joy the Baker)
3 1/2 c roasted nuts (I used salted cashews, but I think a mix of almonds & hazelnuts would be terrific)
5 tablespoons butter, cut into chunks
2 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
1 heaping tablespoon cocoa
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Preheat oven to 350F and place your oven rack in the middle of the oven.
Put chunks of butter into a rimmed baking sheet and place in the oven until melted, about 1 - 2 minutes, tops! Remove from oven, swirl the butter so that it covers the entire pan, and set aside.
Beat your egg whites in your stand mixer (or by hand if that's how you roll) until the whites just begin to hold their shape. Gradually add in the sugar and whisk until sticky and shiny - about 2 more minutes. Fold in cocoa along with the nuts.
Spoon the nuts evenly over the melted buttered baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and quickly give it another stir. Return again for another 8-10 minutes. Remove, stir again and sprinkle with salt. Bake for a final 8-10 minutes. Finally, remove from oven for good this time and stir up the nuts so they break apart. Let them cool completely and then store in an airtight container for about a week (yeah, right).
By Jeannette Ordas of Everybody likes Sandwiches