Hi everyone! I’m Mariel’s Mom, Karen. Back in the summer, I shared a fun tropical dessert, Tropical Passion Bowls. This time I thought I would share this Nutty Craisin Chew recipe with you. These things are very popular right now and packaged in a pretty box, they could make a great Christmas gift for neighbors. The recipe is inspired from those expensive nut, fruit squares that you’ve seen in packages at the stores recently. I’ll give you my basic recipe, but it is very changeable as to the nut and fruit ingredients. I would recommend purchasing large bags of the nuts and fruits at Costco or Sams Club to get better pricing. I used raw almonds and roasted, salted cashews. I also used Craisins and dried apples. If you have a dehydrator you can dry the apples yourself.
Start by coarse chopping the nuts to give you around 2 or 3 cups each of the chopped nuts.
Coarse chop the Craisins and dried apples also. Around 2 cups or so each of the fruit.
The next step is totally optional. For a unique flavor, spread your chopped almonds out onto a parchment lined baking sheet and roast in the oven until golden brown. You will need to stir the nuts on the baking sheet a couple of times while they are roasting so they will roast evenly. This only takes about 5 minutes.
Combine all the chopped nuts and fruit into a large metal or glass bowl and mix together.
To make the sauce you will need a large sauce pan. Combine 2 Cups sugar with 1 cup light Karo syrup. Here’s another choice you can make. You can either use 2 cups of granulated sugar or 1 cup of brown sugar and 1 cup of white sugar, your choice. Personally I think adding one cup of brown sugar gives the final product a little more flavor. You can also play around with a little cinnamon if you want. Some of the nut squares you buy in the store have cinnamon in them. Back to the recipe, add 1/2 C. water. Stir well and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring continuously. Continue to cook to soft ball stage, 228 to 230 degrees on a candy thermometer. I like mine a little chewey so I stop at 229 degrees. Remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla.
Quickly pour over the fruit, nut mixture and stir to combine well.
Press the candied mixture onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Use a piece of parchment paper to press the mixture flat. This should be about 1/2″ to 3/4″ thick.
Cut into small 3/4″ cubes while still warm. A pizza cutter works well. Don’t wait until cool or cutting will be very difficult. These set up firm as they cool. These are a very healthy snack and a great gift idea.
Nutty Craisin Chew
- 2 to 3 cups each of chopped raw almonds and roasted cashews
- 2 cups chopped Craisins
- 2 cups chopped dried apples
- 2 cups sugar (or 1 cup brown and 1 cup white)
- 1 cup light Karo
- ½ cup water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Coarse chop the nuts and fruits. Combine in large metal or glass bowl. Set aside.
- In large saucepan combine sugar, Karo and water. Stir well and bring to boil over medium heat. Cook to soft ball stage or 228 to 230 degrees.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
- Quickly pour over the fruit, nut mixture and stir to combine well.
- Dump onto a parchment lined baking sheet and press down with a piece of parchment paper to ¾" thick.
- Cut into squares while still warm.
There you go! Enjoy!
These are really very addicting, but they are also very healthy!