When my husband and I were first married, we were shopping for Christmas and I’ll never forget what he said: “Let’s pick up a case of wine for emergency gifts.”
“Yes” he said, “Keep them wrapped and under the tree and if anyone comes by we have gifts for them. You know, make them feel like we were expecting them.”
Oh boy did I embrace that thinking. Hospitality at its finest. Since then, my emergency gifts may include, but are not limited to, wine. I also like to give food made in my kitchen. A favorite is Sweet Pecans.
Sweet Pecans Do Double Duty
I made sweet pecans today because I need something to decorate the praline cake I’m making for Christmas Eve. I’ve done everything ahead except the icing — it has to be cooked and spread on the cake immediately. I put the cake in the freezer and have the sweet pecans in a plastic container. (They will keep for five days or up to three weeks in the freezer.)
I made a big batch so I packed some up for a homemade gift from my kitchen. They’re already under the tree. These are so simple and take minutes to make. Put them in a festive container and you have a gift! Grab some bags of pecans from the store and you are halfway there.
- 1 egg white
- 1 pound pecan halves
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
Beat egg whites in a large bowl until foamy. Add pecans and stir until coated. Stir sugars together and add to the bowl and stir until evenly coated.
Spread pecans on a lightly-greased aluminum foil-lined cookie sheet.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes stirring half way. Remove from oven and let cool (about 30 minutes). Package when completely cool.