PonyRider_ opener

Food as gifts has always been high on my ” to do list” at Christmas time. Its personal, tasty and they wont have another one like it!  Experiment and create something unique. Next year your friends will be asking you for the recipe for your famous whiskey nuts! Well now is the time to kick off your shoes, dig deep and crank out some hours in the kitchen. I actually love it and cant wait for Christmas to roll around again for another year.

These gifts are a little selection of a few things Kelly over at Pony rider  asked me to contribute to her Christmas wish list. Check out her uber cool collection!

You can make these whiskey nuts up to a couple of days before you need to hand them out, and they last for a few weeks in an air tight jar. I made these the night before our shoot, I had roasting nuts, being tossed in hot whiskey, maple syrup and butter – the whole house smelt divine !

These are all super simple and made for packaging up and giving out as gifts.

Cool them completely before packaging in jars.

Whiskey nuts

Serves 10 hungry guests as a starter with a cold beer or chilled champagne

Makes 8 x 1 cup jars/ presents.

Time you need to get ready – 5 minutes

Cooking time- 30 minutes

8 cups (1 kg) mixed nuts of your choice – we used walnuts, cashews, raw almonds

150g butter

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup (125 ml) whiskey or  bourbon

1 Preheat oven to 180c or 160c fan forced. Line a tray with baking paper; this saves on washing up and keeps the nuts from sticking to the base of the tray.  Tip the mixed nuts onto the tray in one layer.

2 Next in a small saucepan combine butter, maple syrup and whiskey. Cook over medium heat, stirring till melted and smooth. Simmer for 1-2 minutes. Pour whiskey syrup over nuts in an even layer and stir gently to coat. Flatten out in a single layer.

3 Cook for 25-30 minutes till golden and fragrant. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before packaging.

4 Pack the cooled nuts up into jars, with tight fitting lids.

We spray painted the lids matt black.

If you don’t have any kitchen scales, the butter usually comes with a 50g segmented on the paper, just chop off 3 of those and throw in the pan with the maple and the whiskey. If you feel adventurous, add some sunflower seeds, or sesame seeds to mix it up.

PonyRider_nuts hero


recipe and styling by Jane Collins