This post marks Day 17 of Miss Ginsu's 2008 Advent Calendar. To find other days and other projects, use the calendar page to navigate.
I've been trying not to fixate on financial news, but I recently read a prediction that if bad news keeps rolling in, people may want to want to burrow into their homes and watch movies on the couch. They think the pricetag on going out might be a bit too dear for a tough year.
If that's true, and we're all turning down the thermostats and stuffing ourselves into our living rooms, I hope we've all got good company and tasty snacks as we watch our Netflix or pay-per-views or whatever we happen to be watching.
I may not be able to assist with the good company part of that equation, but I have a suggestion for tasty snacks I'd like to offer up: my Sweet-Hot Candied Nuts.
Joke if you must — I'll just be over here munching nuts while I conduct my annual viewing of A Charlie Brown Christmas.
Sweet-Hot Candied Nuts (Makes 2 cups)
1 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp molasses
1 Tbsp finely grated orange zest
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups mixed nuts
1. Heat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment or aluminum foil.
2. Stir together butter, sugar, molasses, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt in a roomy, heavy-bottomed saucepan.
3. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat.
4. Add nuts and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.
5. Spread the coated nuts across the prepared baking sheet, breaking up any clumps with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula.
6. Bake, (stirring nuts once halfway through) 12 to 15 minutes or until golden and bubbling.
7. Move the baking sheet to a wire rack to cool, then serve or store in an airtight container for about a week.
With the price of nuts, this snack may not be as cheap as popcorn, but if you're skipping the ticket price of various entertainments to stay home, this little luxury is a relative bargain... not to mention a thoughtful treat for visiting friends.