The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other. ~Burton Hillis
My house smells amazing after making a few batches of this simple, refined sugar free treat! Just one pan, a few simple ingredients (gluten free of course), and I’ve got gifts for the neighbors and a bowl for my kids to munch.
It’s been busy around here lately with orchestra concerts, school programs, singing in the church choir, and ugly sweater parties. (Yes we rocked the ugly sweater party! I have two words for you…Sticky. Felt. The kids decorated their own. Can you tell? My favorite is “baby Grinch” who, true to form, refused to where his Grinch-y Santa hat.)
I’ll admit I was struggling to get into the Christmas spirit when December first rolled around. All the extra Christmas stuff felt like another burden added to an already busy schedule. Of course Bing Crosby could be heard singing “White Christmas” throughout my house as we put up the tree and lights. Still, it wasn’t until I watched a video that showed up in my Facebook feed that I was able to really feel the spirit of Christmas. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s a must! (You can watch the video below)
As goodies get passed around and presents are wrapped, I’m going to try to get more wrapped up in my family than a to-do list. Yes, I still have my moments where I am less than angelic (Seriously. Way less!), but I know if I can keep it simple and real we’ll be able to make some great memories…while nibbling yummy treats!
Candied Orange Pecans
2 tbsp. fresh orange juice
1/4 cup coconut sugar
dash or two ground cinnamon
2 cups pecan halves
1/4 tsp. orange zest
Heat a large pot or skillet on high heat. Start by adding the orange juice to the pan first followed by the coconut sugar. Stir until the sugar begins to dissolve. Sprinkle in a decent amount of cinnamon (I like lots). By now the mixture should be bubbling. Add in the pecans and continue stirring to coat all the nuts. Spread the pecans evenly in the bottom of the pan and zest a little of the orange you juiced into the pecans. Allow them to simmer on medium-high heat for another minute or two, stirring occasionally. The liquid will evaporate leaving the sugar crystals behind. Continue stirring until the sugar caramelizes on the nuts. You’ll smell it when it’s done! There should be no liquid left as you dump the nuts onto a parchment lined baking sheet to cool. As they cool, the sugar will harden.
Scoop the cooled Candied Orange Pecans into a sack and tie it with a bow to give away as a gift….and be sure to make extra for yourself.