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Gifts In A Jar Recipes And Free Ebook

Hello,
Here is a great free ebook download for Holiday Gifts in a jar from FaveCrafts.
It not only has recipes but also some great ideas of how to decorate the jars.
http://www.favecrafts.com/master_images/Christmas%20Crafts/34%20Gifts%20In%20a%20Jar%20eBook.pdf

It may just be me... but I would rather be given cookies that are already made than a cookie mix I have to make myself!  LOL  I would personally rather give and receive layered or flavored nuts in a jar as a gift. You can buy gourmet one's like the photo to the right from specialty stores but they are so easy to make yourself.
To make layered nut gifts in a jar all you need is a pretty jar and an assortment of nuts.  I like to use cashews, pistacio, honey nuts, almonds and pecans.  Depending on how many gifts you are making you can either pick up cans of different varieties at your local grocery store or discount store or buy in bulk at wholesale club stores.   Make sure your jar is clean and start layering the nuts, seal and tie off with a pretty bow.

I also like to give flavored or roasted nuts as gifts in jars.  I save all my small jelly jars to use for these but you could also use ziplock baggies with a pretty printed topper or even holiday tins.  Just one thing to keep in mind about flavored nuts is they have a limited shelf life and should be made no more than a day or two before gift giving.  Let cool completely before putting them in any containers.  These also make great hostess and housewarming gifts.
Here are a few recipes I like to use:
Sugared Almonds
Ingredients:

1 cup whole blanched almonds
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon salt
Preparation:
Heat almonds, sugar and butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until almonds are toasted and sugar is a golden brown, about 15 minutes. Stir in vanilla. Spread on aluminum foil; sprinkle with salt. Cool and break into clusters.

Spiced Pecans

Ingredients:

1 egg white
1 teaspoon water
5 cups pecan halves
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preparation:
In a mixing bowl, with an electric hand-held mixer on high speed, beat egg white and water until foamy. Stir pecans into egg white mixture until well coated. Combine sugar, cinnamon, and salt; sprinkle over pecans, stirring once again to coat thoroughly.
Spread pecans in single layer on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 225° for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Leave on baking sheet until completely cooled. Store in an airtight container.

Cinnamon Walnuts
Ingredients

1 cup sugar 1/3 cup evaporated milk 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract 3 cups walnut halves
Directions
In a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, milk, cinnamon and salt. Cook over medium heat, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reads 238 degrees F (soft-ball stage). Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla and walnuts. Spread onto waxed paper to harden. Break into pieces. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Sweet & Spicy Roasted Nuts

1 lb. mixed unsalted almonds, pecans, and cashews
1-1/2 Tbs. light brown sugar
2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
1/2 tsp. chipotle powder
Kosher salt
2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Spread the nuts on a large rimmed baking sheet and roast until they start to brown, about 10 minutes.
While the nuts are roasting, combine the sugar, thyme, chipotle powder, and 1 tsp. salt in a small bowl. Transfer the nuts to a large bowl, add the butter, and toss well. Add the sugar mixture and toss again to coat evenly. Season with more salt to taste, transfer to small bowls, and serve while still warm. (These are also good at room temperature and will keep in an airtight container for at least 3 days.)

Here are some great recipes I found from Better Home and Gardens
http://www.bhg.com/recipe/appetizers-snacks/roasted-nut-snack/

Roasted Nut Snacks...Cocoa Sugared Mix, Curry Spiced Mix, Barbecue Seasoned Mix, or Asian Five-Spiced Mix
Ingredients

Nonstick cooking spray
Cocoa Sugared Mix, Curry Spiced Mix, Barbecue Seasoned Mix, or Asian Five-Spiced Mix (recipes follow)
1/4 cup peanut oil or 1/4 cup melted butter
4 cups pecan halves or 4 cups assorted nuts, such as pecan halves, walnut halves or pieces, whole unsalted cashews, almonds, dry-roasted unsalted peanuts and/or peeled hazelnuts
Directions
1. Line a 13x9x2-inch or a 15x10x1-inch baking pan with foil; lightly coat with nonstick cooking spray. Set pan aside. In a small bowl, combine desired seasoning mix and oil or melted butter. Place nuts in prepared pan. Drizzle butter mixture over nuts, tossing gently until well coated. Spread nuts out in an even layer.
2. Bake in a 325° oven for 25 minutes, stirring twice. Remove from oven. Remove to a paper towel-lined baking sheet; cool. Serve at room temperature. Store any remaining nuts in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
3. Cocoa Sugared Mix: In a small bowl, combine 1/3 cup granulated sugar,2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons water, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
4. Curry Spiced Mix: In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar, 2 teaspoons curry powder, 1/2 teaspoon onion salt and 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper.
5. Barbecue Seasoned Mix: In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar, 2 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon garlic salt, 2 teaspoons chili powder, 1 tablespoon ground cumin and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper.
6. Asian Five-Spiced Mix: In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons water, 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar, 1 teaspoon five-spice powder, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper.
I can't wait to try these!

I also like to make layered candy in a jar... big kids and little kids enjoy these.  These make a great gift for a birthday or any holiday.  For children I try to find acrylic containers for the candy.  Here are some beautiful ideas from Martha!
http://www.marthastewart.com/good-things/candy-shop-gifts

I am going to be making some Easter Gift Jars with candy and I will post pictures of them when I get them done.

Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoyed these.
Love,
Beverly

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