OK, here is where we begin to divide into two groups of people. Some of you are totally chill with me casually dropping the ‘C’ word into conversation in November, and some of you absolutely are not at all. To those in the latter category I can only apologise, for preparations and planning are well underway. I’m a festive fairy. I was born that way and will likely remain that way forever, which means I get a big kick out of planning little pre-Christmas bits this early.
I know you lot do too, cause I’m already seeing traffic on old Christmas posts and have been since early October. Admit it, it’s nice to start thinking about festive food early on. Especially the kind that I want to talk about today: edible Christmas gifts.
Food is the ultimate little Christmas gift to give to visitors or catch-up-Christmas-drink-goers or the milkman or the school teacher or the.. you get the idea. Wrap it up, tie a ribbon on there somewhere and you’ve got yourself a thoughtful little package that is guaranteed to go down an absolute treat.
The recipe I’ve got for you today is lifted right out of a really cool recipe book that landed on my doorstep recently: The World Atlas of Street Food. It’s a brilliant book. It’s filled with vibrant tales, pictures and recipes from street food stalls the world over.
This particular recipe is from Mexico City, and its proper name is Palanquetas De Almendras Y Pepitas – but I figured you’d be less likely to click on it if it wasn’t in English cause, you know, you wouldn’t know what it was. This is really easy to give as a pressie, just chuck into a cellophane bag (found on Ebay, Amazon, and most craft stores) and secure with a ribbon.
100g whole blanched almonds
100g pumpkin seeds
225g granulated sugar
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- Preheat oven to 175C/350F/Gas Mark 4. Spread the almonds on a baking tray and cook in the oven until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
- In a large frying pan, stir the pumpkin seeds over a medium heat until aromatic and starting to pop. Mix with the almonds and set aside.
- Line a baking sheet with non-stick paper.
- Place the sugar and water in a pan and heat gently, stirring with a wooden spatula, until the mixture is transparent. Bring to the boil and leave to cook without stirring until it turns a rich golden colour. Remove from the heat and stir in the almonds, the pumpkin seeds, butter, bicarb and salt.
- Scrape the mixture onto the lined baking sheet, flatten with the wooden spatula to a thickness of 5mm and shape into a rough square or rectangle with a palette knife. Break into pieces once cooled.