Despite some seasonal confusion (my heart is saying pine cones but my eyes are still seeing roses), I have to say, this dual border fêting is working out quite well for us.
We gladly welcomed the five day American Thanksgiving break with some highly unstructured family time. It’s amazing how much fun you can have doing precisely nothing.
With a house full of boys, I’ve learned to embrace the concept of movement. Time off generally means planning some kind of high-octane activity that often involves long drives, little sleep and most assuredly, adventure.
Not this time. Instead, we woke without alarms, lingered over long breakfasts, hung out in our pjs, enjoyed unhurried dog walks and played some
intense and at times combative spirited and often impassioned poker (I can’t remember the last time we managed to corral our teenage sons into cards – let’s face it, hanging out with mom and dad just doesn’t cut it at this stage. I guess poker teases the possibility of adventure).
So here we are on the other side of two Thanksgivings and look… it’s time to celebrate again!
The advent calendar is out (yes I still do an advent calendar for my boys, judge if you must), the Christmas cards are in production and Grand-maman’s Bâtonnets à la melasse instructions are on the counter. I’ve known the recipe for her delicate French biscuits by heart for 15 years but I still need to see it every year.
And today I’m sharing another delicious holiday nibble that I’ve been making quite a bit lately. Crunchy caramelized love bites that are simply packed with flavor. The combination of maple and Sriracha together with warm earthy sage and sea salt offers up sweet, savory and spicy notes with every bite.
Not into heat? No problem.
Skip the Sriracha and make a version with maple syrup alone — equally delicious and works especially well on cereal and for yogurt topping, etc. The plain maple version is the one I make the most ~ the Sriracha is just my special holiday edition (wink).
These tasty pecans also make a great game day munchie or a beautiful gift for teachers, neighbors and friends. Tuck them into a mason jar, decorate the lid if you wish and attach a ribbon. Festive, delicious and so simple.
- 2 cups whole unsalted pecans
- 3 Tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp Sriracha hot chili sauce
- 2 tsp melted coconut oil or butter
- 1 tsp finely chopped fresh sage
- pinch sea salt
- Heat oven to 350 F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk together: maple syrup, sriracha, coconut oil (or butter) and sage.
- Add pecans to the bowl and, using your hands, toss nuts around thoroughly to ensure they are well coated with mixture.
- Invert coated pecans onto parchment paper and spread out such that nuts are not touching. Be sure to scoop out any final wet mixture from the bowl with a spatula and onto the pecans.
- Sprinkle coated pecans with some sea salt.
- Place tray in the oven for 10-12 minutes to roast (tossing the nuts at least once) until the pecans are fragrant and have begun to brown - **you don't want to burn the nuts** so keep a close eye.
- Carefully remove the tray from the oven and allow the nuts to cool before enjoying. NOTE: the nuts will be somewhat soft when they come out of the oven as the glaze is molten. As the nuts cool down, they will crisp up. Enjoy!
2) You can omit the Sriracha altogether if heat is not your thing. The maple version is equally delicious and works especially well on cereal and as a topping for yogurt and salads, etc.
3) Enjoy these nuts as an appetizer, snack, game day munchie or offer them up as a gift (teachers/friends/neighbors) -- so easy to make and you can present them in a decorative mason jar.
4) Store the pecans in an airtight container for up to 1 week (they are freshest/crunchiest in the first 3 days).