Holiday Preparation Made Easy + Homemade Caramels & Sweet Spicy Nuts Recipes
The holidays are fast approaching. It’s that time of year when we are pulled in a million different directions. The calendar is packed full of celebrations, dinners, and other festivities. Stress runs high. There is just so much to do before we can relax and enjoy the season.
Each year we find ourselves searching for last minute hostess gifts, items to build gift baskets, or gifts for teachers and co-workers. We have always found the best way to simplify this was to make holiday treats. This year we took it one step further and made them in bulk (recipes available at the bottom of the post).
Holiday preparation just got a whole lot easier (and cheaper)! I am finding so much value in my BJ’s Wholesale Club membership. They have an amazing offer for you at the bottom of the post.
So of course it turned into a family trip! Shopping at BJ’s Wholesale Club isn’t like shopping at a normal grocery store. There are so many fun aisles in the center of the store. Right now the big Christmas decorations are lit up. There are books, clothes, electronics, wine. Of course no trip is complete without a stop in the toy section! Even my husband enjoys tagging along.
Our focus for this trip was to stock up on the things we needed to get “holiday ready”. I really needed to cross holiday gift baskets off my to do list!
Two of our favorite recipes this time of year are Homemade Caramels and Sweet Spicy Nuts. Our hope was to stock up with enough that we were prepared for those gift needs, and still have some left over for us to eat. Trust me, that’s hoping for a lot! It’s hard not to taste test through an entire batch. 😉
At the end of our trip, my daughter loves to be the cashier at self-check out!
Once we got home it was time to get cooking! Again, this turned into a family affair. See, everyone wants to be the taste tester.
The nuts are simple to make. Choose the nut combination of your liking. Mix up the spices (combination of spicy and sweet). Cook the coating and pour over the nuts. Pop them in the oven to bake for a short time. Let them sit to cool and set up. At the end you have an amazing snack! The name says spicy, but they are really more of a sweet/salty treat.
Once they are done, I like to put them in mason jars to keep them fresh. Before you give them out you can tie a simple ribbon around the jar or stick a bow on top. A perfectly festive gift.
Next up were the Homemade Caramels. These are little more involved. However, in total they take around 30-minutes. You will need a candy thermometer, but don’t let that scare you off! Trust me, it’s simple.
The process here is to mix up the cream, sugars, and cook the liquid. The longest part of this process is to boil it and take it up to the desired temperature. Once it hits, you take it off the heat and add the butter, vanilla, and sea salt. It will set up in an 8×8 pan as it cools.
We let it sit overnight, pop it out of the pan, cut it up, and wrap each piece in wax paper. They have an amazing buttery flavor. Since they are wrapped individually, I like to put them into cute tins (dollar store finds!).
Now to share an amazing deal with you!
For a limited time, BJ’s Wholesale Club is offering a free 90-day membership! If you haven’t shopped them before, try them out now. I promise it’s worth it. The holidays are the best time to take advantage of the savings.
Just click on this link ===> Get 3 Months Free
What do you love about BJ’s Wholesale Club? If you’re not a member, why are you excited to check them out?