(Family Features)– ‘Tis the season for sweet and savory favorites – from the mouthwatering desserts you crave each year to starters and snacks that hold over hungry guests. Elevate your holiday entertaining with the right combination of appetizers, main courses, sides, sweets and beyond that start with the same seasonal staple: pecans.
As a versatile nut that can be used throughout the holidays, pecans have you covered so you can cook and enjoy a myriad of dishes, add festive flair to decor, or provide a nutritious snack in the midst of season-long indulgences. This year, pick up an extra bag of pecans to create nutritious, delicious dishes to enjoy on-the-go or serve to guests.
To help celebrate the holiday season, the American Pecan Promotion Board introduced a digital Pe-Calendar to highlight the many ways pecans can be enjoyed in and beyond a traditional pie. From Dec. 7-18, the interactive calendar will unveil tasty recipes for pecan fans to enjoy, along with fun games that can enter you in to win exciting prizes each day. From delicious Baked Brie with Pecans and Cranberry Orange Chutney to nutritious Pecan Snack Mix with Cranberries and Chocolate, along with prizes, the calendar provides an ultimate way to shell-ebrate with the must-have holiday nut.
To sign up for daily email reminders to open a new door for chances to win nutty prizes, or to find additional holiday recipes, visit EatPecans.com.
Baked Brie with Pecans and Cranberry Orange Chutney
Recipe courtesy of the American Pecan Promotion Board
Cook time: 24 minutes
1 bag (12 ounces) fresh cranberries
1/2 cup maple syrup, plus 1 teaspoon for garnish, divided
1/2 cup water
1 orange, zest and juice only
1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme, plus additional for garnish, divided
1 teaspoon freshly chopped rosemary
1 tablespoon bourbon (optional)
1 round brie (13.4 ounces)
1/2 cup roasted pecan pieces
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
In medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring cranberries (reserving some for garnish), 1/2 cup maple syrup and water to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until cranberries pop and mixture thickens, 8-10 minutes.
Remove cranberry mixture from heat and stir in orange zest, orange juice, 1 teaspoon thyme, rosemary and bourbon, if desired.
Place brie on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake 5-7 minutes, or until inside of cheese softens while outside remains intact.
Transfer brie to serving platter and top with chutney and toasted pecans. Drizzle remaining maple syrup over brie and garnish with remaining fresh thyme and reserved cranberries. Serve with crackers, toasted bread and apple slices.
Pecan Snack Mix with Cranberries and Chocolate
Recipe courtesy of Jess Larson and the American Pecan Promotion Board
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes, plus 10 minutes cooling time
1 cup pecan halves
1 cup rice squares cereal (wheat or cinnamon)
1/2 cup pretzels
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
In large, microwave-safe bowl, add pecans, rice squares cereal and pretzels. In small, microwave-safe bowl, add butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, salt and nutmeg. Microwave butter mixture 1-2 minutes until melted then pour over dry mix. Toss well to combine.
Microwave snack mix in 45-second intervals, about 4-5 intervals total, until mix is fragrant, golden and toasty.
Cool mix completely then stir in cranberries and dark chocolate chips.
Source: American Pecan Promotion Board