When I was little, if someone sent us a Hickory Farms or another food gift package at Christmas it seemed like a very fancy treat. Separately, the honey mustard, sausages, cheeseball, and other offerings wouldn’t be anything particularly special, but all put together in a decorated box seemed like a grand present. Every year I have plans to make edible Christmas gifts from the kitchen but time gets away from me as it might this year as well, but just like New Year’s Eve resolutions I’m making them anyway.
These pecans tucked in a decorative box makes a great neighbor or hostess gift, and is sure to make your charcuterie board something special. Include these nuts in a gift basket with some other special items like marinated olives, home brewed vanilla, flavored salts, sugared cranberries, homemade flavored vinegars, or even some home dehydrated fruits. If there’s a family who can’t afford dazzling foodstuffs for their table, a gift basket with unique items will be a memory maker. If Hickory Farms can gin up cozy memories, you know a box or basket of homemade food gifts will too, especially for families who aren’t accustomed to luxury food items. Whether it’s for a family without means, or a friend who needs to get some adventure into their cooking, homemade holiday food baskets aren’t just gifts, but sentiment and memories.
Bourbon Spiced Pecans
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 sour mash whiskey
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
3 cups pecan halves
Combine sugar, whiskey, chili powder, salt and cayenne pepper in saucepan.
Cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves, stirring frequently. Bring to a boil and boil gently for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add pecans, stirring to coat well.
Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with oiled foil.
Bake at 250 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until toasted and glazed. If nuts are still sticky, break them apart and place on clean, foil-lined pan and bake a little longer. Make sure to dry them out nicely before putting them in a container so they don’t stick.