Archive for the 'snacks' Category

Gingerbread Caramel Corn

gingerbread caramel corn Gingerbread Caramel Corn

Gingerbread caramel corn! It had to be done. It’s crunchy. It’s munchy. It’s gifty and eat-on-the-couchy. Perfect for Christmas week, don’t you think?

Every time I make caramel corn, I forget 1) how easy it is, and 2) how delicious it is. Just make sure you use a saucepan or pot with enough room for the sugar mixture to foam up (it will about triple in size) when you add the vanilla and baking soda – this is what makes it light and crisp, and not so tooth-breakingly heavy. This stuff will not compromise your dental work. Nor does it require a candy thermometer, which is a good thing if you haven’t found one in your stocking yet.

This is the perfect sort of thing to have on the coffee table whilst reading/movie-watching/playing Scrabble, or to bring along a bag of if you’re heading to a skating party. It’s wintertime snack food.

Gingerbread Caramel Corn

8-10 cups popped popcorn
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup or Rogers Golden syrup
1/4 cup butter
1 Tbsp. molasses
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. dry ginger

Preheat the oven to 250F and put the popcorn in a big bowl.

In a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, molasses and salt and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and boil without stirring, swirling the pan occasionally, for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the baking soda and vanilla – it will foam up at first. Stir in the cinnamon and ginger and quickly pour over the popcorn; stir with a heatproof spatula or tongs to coat well.

Spread out onto a large rimmed baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, stirring once or twice. Cool and break apart. Serves a medium-sized crowd.

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December 26 2013 | snacks | 6 Comments »

12 Days of Recipes: Spiced Nuts

Spiced Nuts 1 12 Days of Recipes: Spiced Nuts

The countdown has begun. It’s officially that time of year when I convince myself that a slab of dark fruitcake is akin to a power bar, and thus a perfectly acceptable breakfast. (Note to self: make dark fruitcake.) That said, I do try to offset the copious amounts of shortbread and salted caramel with healthy stuff, like nuts. Spiced nuts taste (almost) as Christmassy to me as anything (nearly), and when charged with coming up with recipes to use some of the small appliances they have at London Drugs, all I could think about the T-falActifry, beyond the obvious curiousness about its ability to cook a batch of fries using only a spoonful of oil (it works!) is I BET THAT COULD DO ROASTED NUTS.

Spiced Nuts 2 12 Days of Recipes: Spiced Nuts

Never mind chestnuts roasting on an open fire – who can find chestnuts, anyway? – how about spiced nuts roasting as a metal arm gently churns them, something I’m unable to effectively do at the stove, thus my reputation for burning hundreds of dollars’ worth of nuts every year?

You toss the lot into the top of the Actifry and turn it on, and let them gently roast as the machine evenly distributes the spices and acts like a giant electric potpourri. As it turns out, you can’t do deep fried things in it, but it apparently makes a mean chicken wing, and of course the aforementioned French fries. Which are perfect for – ahem – turkey dinner poutine. Oh yes.

Turkey Dinner Poutine 1 12 Days of Recipes: Spiced Nuts

Of course you could as easily do these in the oven – something I’ve been doing for years. But. This time I have an actual T-fal Actifry sitting in my front hallway, generously supplied by London Drugs to give away to one of you! I hate to limit this one to Calgary only, but it would be a monster to ship, and I’m already feeling sorry for all the overworked delivery people at this time of year.

Screen Shot 2013 11 29 at 6.25.48 PM 12 Days of Recipes: Spiced Nuts

Spiced nuts are of course great to have a stash of on hand for parties and gift-giving; I like to have a jar on the shelf to chop and scatter on salads, too. The recipe doubles or triples easily if you want a larger batch. You can make them now and keep them to nibble throughout December.

To enter to win this fab Actifry, leave a comment here! Let us know what you’re cooking up this weekend, or whether you’re leaving that up to someone else and going out.

Spiced Nuts

2 Tbsp. canola or olive oil or melted butter
1 garlic clove, peeled
2 cups unsalted mixed nuts, such as pecans, walnuts, cashews and almonds
2 tsp. flaky sea salt (or to taste)
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Pour the oil into a small ramekin and add the garlic; swish it around and set aside for a few minutes, then remove the garlic clove.

In a medium bowl, toss the nuts with the garlicky oil and spices until well coated.

Spread the nuts out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally, until fragrant and golden. Alternatively, cook in the Actifry until golden and fragrant. Set aside to cool completely.

Makes about 2 cups.

* This post was generously sponsored by London Drugs as part of their #LDHoliday campaign, but the words and thoughts are my own. Thanks, London Drugs!

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button print gry20 12 Days of Recipes: Spiced Nuts

November 29 2013 | appetizers and snacks | 151 Comments »

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