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Homemade Christmas Gifts with a Mexican Twist
06.12.2021

Christmas is closer than ever and we think it would be great to give you a few ideas to give homemade goodies to your loved ones. After two very complicated years, we believe giving a little personal gift is the way to go. So skip the socks and make some of these goodies to give away or keep them for you! Here are some ideas to give love with a Mexican twist. 

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Spiced Nuts

-3 cups almonds, pistachios, pecans, or a mix of them.

-3 tbsp runny honey

-1 tbsp butter

-½ tsp ground cinnamon

-½ tsp ground turmeric

-1 tsp Adobo Seasoning

-¼ cup brown sugar

-½ tsp  salt

-½ tsp Tajin

1 Preheat oven to 170C

2 Place the honey and the butter in a saucepan and melt on low heat. Turn off the heat.

3 Add the cinnamon, turmeric, and Adobo Seasoning and mix well. Add the nuts and coat everything. 

4 Transfer the nuts to a baking tray lined with baking paper. Spread the nuts making sure they are separated from each other. Bake for 15 minutes, making sure you stir them every 5 minutes. The nuts should look brown but not burnt.

5 Remove the nuts from the oven and let them cold down for 3 minutes. While they are cooling down, mix the sugar with the salt and Tajin in a bowl.

6 Add the nuts to the sugar mix and toss them until they are perfectly coated. The nuts should still be sticky and hot. Transfer them back to the baking tray and let them cool down completely before storing them. 

7 Once the nuts have cooled down, you can store them in a jar. 

Notes:

  • These nuts are totally amazing! They have the perfect combination of sweetness, spice and flavour with just the right texture. 
  • The Adobo Seasoning is one of our favourites. It has ancho chilli, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, etc. It is not spicy but very tasty and adds an extra layer of warmth to these nuts.
  • These nuts are perfect as a snack, they are great on a cheese board but they really shine over salads! Absolutely amazing!
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Spiced Candied Orange Slices

-4 oranges

-8 cups water

-4 cups ice water

-4 cups sugar + more for dusting

-Tajin

1 Slice the oranges to roughly 4mm thick. The oranges should be able to hold their shape but not be too thick. 

2 Add four cups of water to a large pot and bring to a boil. Lower the temperature to medium-low and add the orange slices. Simmer for three minutes. Turn off the heat and remove the oranges directly into the ice water. Discard this water. This process will eliminate some of the bitterness in the orange peel. 

3 Add four cups of water to the same pot and the sugar. Bring to a boil and make sure all the sugar dissolves before adding the oranges. Once there’s no sugar in the pot, add the orange slices and simmer in medium-low for at least 40min. The oranges should look a bit translucent or softer in colour. 

4 Remove the orange slices from the pot and place them over a rack to dry. Having the rack over a baking tray works great to catch any syrup falling. The orange slices should stay here for 24 hours.

5 Once a day has passed, the orange slices should be soft and sticky. Sprinkle sugar over them on both sides until perfectly coated. Gently shake them to remove any sugar excess. 

6 Add Tajin to one part of the orange slices or to all the surfaces on one side. Taste and adjust the amount of Tajin you add. 

Notes:

  • These candied orange slices are very easy to make but time-consuming. The longer ahead you make them, the better. 
  • The consistency is like a juicy gummy! They are delicious with the sugar dusting only but when you add the Tajin they transform into a beautiful treat with a Mexican twist! If you have never tried Tajin, you should know that it is not really spicy but very tasty instead! Very similar to the Mexican sweets we grow up with as kids. 
  • These orange slices never go too dry and they are enjoyed best during the week they were made. 
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Spice Mix 

-2 guajillos

-3 Arbol chiles

-2 tbsp white sesame seeds

-1 tbsp black sesame seeds

-1 ½  tbsp dried garlic flakes or powder

-1 ½ tbsp dried onion flakes or powder

-2 tbsp sea salt such as Maldon salt

1 The first thing to do is to toast the chillies. Clean them with a damp cloth and place them on a hot pan on medium-high heat. This process should be quick and the chillies should never be left unattended. Turn the chillies often until they start to toast and are fragrant. Remove from the pan and leave them to cool down.

2 Once the chillies have cooled down, remove the stem, seeds and veins from the guajillo chillies. Remove only the stem from the Arbol chiles. Add them to a blender or spice grinder and blitz until they resemble chilli flakes. Be careful with the powder, this will be spicy! Reserve.

3 In a bowl, add the sesame seeds, garlic and onion flakes (or powder) and the salt. Mix very well and add the chilli flakes mix little by little to taste. 


Notes

  • Arbol chillies are spicy hot and very tasty too! If you don’t like spicy food, you can skip them completely and work only with the guajillo chillies that are all about the flavour and very shy about the spice. 
  • This spice mix is inspired by the famous Everything But The Bagel seasoning and it is wonderful over avocado toast dips such as hummus, tzatziki, over burrata, salads, etc. 
  • This spice mix can be stored in little containers and be stored the same way you store other seasonings.
  • This recipe will yield about ½ cup of the spice mix. Since it is spicy, giving small amounts of it is the right way to go. The recipe can be easily doubled and adjusted to personal taste too. 

If you like these ideas, then we think you will love our previous collection of Mexican snacks from our Mexican Grazing Board. All of them easy, delicious and perfect for sharing with your loved ones. Find the blog here

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