Originally, these crunchy nuts were used to top a salad, but I adjusted the recipe so they could stand on their own as a snack. Cayenne pepper gives them a little kick, making the nuts a fun party starter or hostess gift. —
Terry Maly, Olathe, Kansas
To tell the truth, I can't recall where this recipe came from. It's been a regular in my holiday baking, though, for many years. Between Thanksgiving and New Year's, I hand these out to almost everybody—even the mailman's been known to find a batch in the mailbox!
I moved from a big city as a bride. My husband soon persuaded me to enter baked goods at our county fair—now, our son, 8, is my cookie tester, and our daughter, 6, is the egg beater.
Begin a tax-crunched evening with CPA Snack, featuring a yummy mixture of seasoned nuts. The name has a double meaning, since it stands certified public accountant as well as the main ingredients (cashews, pecans and almonds)!—Betty Jean Jordan, Monticello, Georgia
The pleasant sweetness of this crisp, munchable mixture will surprise you. "I've taken it to my children's schools for parties or as a special treat," writes Donna Scully of Newark, Delaware. "I've also packaged it in bow-topped tins for special gifts."
"This mix was the perfect item for my daughter to take to high school track meets," says Blue Springs, Nebraska's Theresa Gingery. Five ingredients make up this colorful crowd-pleaser that's crunchy, chewy and not too sweet.
Pack this easy-to-make munchie in a sleek glass or acrylic canister adorned with cotton yarn, and it'll be ready to put under the tree. Get that candy-cane brightness by winding yarn in shades of red and pink around the canister before topping with a homemade pompom. —Robin Haas, Cranston, Rhode Island
"This crunchy granola—which may be eaten as cereal or used to top ice cream or fruit—makes a welcome gift," says Maxine Smith of Owanka, South Dakota. She suggests packaging it in a tin or jar decked with a festive bow.