Monday, December 20, 2010

Man Gift Five - Gobble, Chew, Slurp

While I've been doing a bunch of stuff I can't blog about (sneaky giftie stuff). It's gotten to be only two big sleeps until The Fat Man In Red arrives. (2! How?) Which could mean EITHER that it's time to freak out and panic. OR that it's the perfect time to whip up some last minute edible gifties. OR BOTH! (yay for multi-tasking.)
These edible gifties are my Ma's contribution to the Man Gifts canon. Which is a a GOOD thing; because while my cooking is distinctly average, my mum's is EXTRAORDINARY. (Dinner party for 25? Done. Baking for the local cafe? NO PROBLEM. Deliciousness in general? BINGO!)
Also, there's a good chance that anybody who has tastebuds will like these. So they're not man exclusive.
Hokay. First up is...

Chocolate nut and fruit squares
150g milk chocolate
150g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
100g butter
4 T golden syrup (or corn syrup)
75 g blanched almonds roughly chopped
50 g dried cherries OR cranberries OR giant raisins
75 g BROKEN graham wafers not crushed
100 g white chocolate broken into pieces (do not melt)
grease and line an 18 cm pan (you could stick it in the freezer while you're making the goodies)
Put the first 4 ingredients into a heat proof bowl, melt in microwave or OVER saucepan of simmering water. Mix well until smooth.
Add 2/3 of each of the other ingredients, pour into pan.
Scatter remaining ingredients over the top.
Chill until solid.
Turn out and cut into squares.
For variation use toasted pecans instead of almonds
use wafer biscuits instead of digestives or use gluten free cookies

Sounds good right? Also easy.And you could round the giftie with some savoury snacks. Spicy ones. num.

Spicy Pumpkin Seeds
2 cups raw pumpkin seeds (the hulled ones)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp salt
1 T lime juice
Heat oven to 375c.
Toss all the ingredients together in a bowl and then spread on a baking sheet
Bake, shaking the pan once or twice until lightly browned 5 - 7 minutes. You'll need to watch these. Like a HAWK. A hawk with a monacle and an interest in spicy pumpkin seeds.
Cool, store in jars.
Only make these 1 or 2 days in advance of giving. So nowish would be perfect! You could stick these in plastic bags and pop a topper over them. Perhaps this one here? (Rudolph loves him some chilli).

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