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12 Days of Christmas Treats Giveaway, Day 1

It’s that time of year again.  You know, that time when I drop everything and make stuff like crazy for Christmas.  This year, my friends, I was not really sure if I could pull this off.  As you can see, I haven’t exactly been posting a lot lately.  It’s  a trend I have been noticing with a lot of blogs.  We only have so much free time in a day and  as the online options expanded to include such things as Instagram and Snapchat, blog writing went on a decline.  For me, it’s not because I am busy on other platforms that have kept me from blogging–it’s more that homeschooling is taking up more and more of my time and attention every year.  That’s as it should be since we have long since past the stages of finger painting and basic arithmetic. However, I miss coming here and chatting about things I have been working on.  So, I decided that this would not be the year that I give up my annual tradition of giving a box of goodies away.

In the past, I have had a theme (breads, cookies, candies, and last year it was diy gifts).  This year, I think I am going to be more general and say it’s the 12 Days of Christmas Baking.

It’s no secret that I love to bake and also no secret that I love to try new recipes.  No matter how many tried and true recipes I accumulate, I am always ready and looking to try new things I haven’t made before.   Even new versions of old classics catch my attention.  So, this year you can expect to see some new things I haven’t made before mixed with a few easier versions of goodies I have made in the past.

As usual, I will be giving away a box of goodies accumulated over the next 12 days from all the crafting and baking. Just like last year’s give away, you may enter by leaving one comment per post. Only one comment per person will be counted per post, but if you leave a comment for all twelve days, you will be entered twelve times! The box will mostly likely include many of the treats featured in the posts, but perhaps not all of them because not everything travels well or keeps well. Plus, I will be trying some new recipes, so there may be a flop or two. However, I will try to ensure that the winner has a nice variety! Because of perishability issues, I will have to limit this to a domestic (that is, just the United States) contest. Comments on all 12 posts must be received by noon on December 19, eastern standard time. I will pick a winner at random on the 19th and hope to ship on the 20th.

Today, I am going to start off really easy with this Sweet and Spicy Pretzel and Nut Mix recipe from Food52.

I first made this the week before Thanksgiving and we all loved it so much that it was gone in a week.  With that first batch, I dialed back the cayenne pepper quite a bit.  We loved how it wasn’t too sweet, but also not too savory.  It’s perfect for this time of year when sometimes there is just too much sweetness going on.  I think it will be perfect to snack on during the upcoming marathon baking sessions.

Today’s batch has about 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne along with 1/2 teaspoon of coarsely ground Korean chili pepper powder.  This batch is considerably more spicy, though I would not say it’s overwhelming.  I also added about a cup of chopped dried apricots to give the mix a fruity dimension.

The thing that I love about this recipe is that it is super easy.  You toast some nuts.  While the nuts are toasting, you mix up the flavorings in a big bowl.  Then, toss all the nuts and pretzels together, put everything back in the oven to bake for a little while, and then it’s done.  Easy Peasy.

This batch will be gone before the 12 days is done, but it’s so easy that I am sure I will be making another batch.  I think it will look pretty in a clear bag tied with a bright ribbon for gifting as well.

Leave me a comment to be entered to win a box full of Baked  Christmas treats.  Tell me what your favorite snack is so I can try that, too!  Thanks so much for stopping by!

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