Cranberry walnut brittle – the delicious & nutritious in one sweet bite

I have never been much of a candy maker but I love the look of shiny brittle so figured that it’s worth making once a year.

And as far as homemade gifts go it’s pretty spectacular. Glossy and filled to the brim with good stuff, Cranberry Walnut Brittle lets you have the delicious and the nutritious in one sweet bite. Feel free to mix in your favourite nuts and seeds.

I found the original recipe on the food blog Adventures in Cooking. They made it with honey, which I’m sure is delicious too but there is something about molasses that smells and tasts of holiday celebrations and special times spent with family and friends.

Holiday Brittle (Cranberry walnut brittle)

Adapted from www.adventuresincooking.com

  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Grandma Fancy Molasses
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  1. In a large pot combine the sugars, molasses, water and salt.
  2. Bring to a gentle boil over low to medium heat, stirring from time to time.
  3. Using a candy thermometer heat the mixture to 302 F. (On my stove this took close to an hour).
  4. While the sugar mixture is boiling, place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking pan.
  5. Lightly grease the parchment paper.
  6. When the sugar mixture reaches 286 F, quickly remove from heat, stir in the butter and nuts and turn out onto the prepared pan.
  7. Use a rubber spatula to spread as thinly, and evenly as possible. The mixture will start to seize up immediately so you’ll have to work fast!
  8. Cool and break into pieces.

For more Holiday gift ideas check out our Holiday Book, a free e-book full of our favourite Holiday recieps.

This candy is chock full of good stuff!

Edible gifts – gingerbread biscotti

Gingerbread biscotti

 

Biscotti seem like the ideal cookies to give as a gift. Aside from the fact that they’re beautiful, they’re good and sturdy, remain great for dunking even when they have been around for a while and they aren’t overly sweet so are satisfying in a biscuit sort of way. Plus they’re impressive and that’s a nice touch in a homemade gift.

Don’t let the fact that you bake them three times scare you off. The dough is quick to mix up and the baking steps are simple.

Gingerbread biscotti

I find that biscotti are especially pretty when you leave the nuts in larger pieces. The problem I have though is that they crumble on me when I slice them. That’s why I whirr the nuts into smaller pieces in the food processor. But if you’re good with a knife (and have really sharp knives) you’ll have no trouble at all slicing through the larger chunks of nuts.

 

Gingerbread biscotti

Gingerbread biscotti

Adapted from joyofbaking.com

  • 3/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped or whirred in the food processor (can also use pecans or walnuts)
  • 1 cup rolled oats (old fashioned)
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 eggs (large)
  • 1/4 cup Grandma Fancy Molasses
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries

Glaze:

  • ½ cup icing sugar
  • 1 Tbsp milk or cream
  • ½ tsp vanilla

Instructions:

  1. In a food processor, whir ½ cup of the rolled oats until finely ground.
  2. In a large bowl combine the ground oats with the remaining ½ cup of rolled oats, the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda and spices.
  3. In another bowl whisk the eggs, molasses, oil and vanilla until well combined.
  4. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until well blended.
  5. Add the hazelnuts and dried cranberries.
  6. Divide dough in half and on a lightly floured surface roll each half into a 12” log.
  7. Flatten a bit.
  8. Transfer logs to a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 350 F for 30 minutes, until golden and firm to the touch.
  9. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300 F.
  10. Carefully move logs to a cutting board and cut into ¾ “slices on the diagonal.
  11. Place the slices back on the baking sheet, cut side down.
  12. Bake for 6-8 minutes, flip the slices and bake another 6-8 minutes.
  13. Cool and drizzle with melted white chocolate or glaze (Combine ingredients and drizzle from a spoon.)

 Whirr half of the rolled oats in the food processor until they look like this:

The dough will look very pretty, studded with chopped nuts and dried cranberries.

Roll the dough into logs and space them about this far apart. Flatten them a bit more if you want a longer biscotti.

Once they have baked the first time, slice them on the diagnal, very carefully. If you want a longer biscotti, slice them on more of an angle.

Once they’re sliced, lay them face up on the cookie sheet and bake again. Flip over and bake for the final time.

 

When cooled, drizzel them with white chocolate or a simple glaze.