Stocking Stuffers

Sharing the flavors of the season with family and friends is a great way to add a homemade touch to the holidays. Each of these stocking stuffers can be made in advance and parceled out into small gift bags or jars for a tasteful present or party favor.

Candied Lemon and Orange Peel
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  1. 6 oranges
  2. 6 lemons
  3. 12 cups water, divided
  4. 2 1/2 cups sugar, divided
  1. Using a Y-shaped vegetable peeler, peel oranges and lemons, being careful not to include the pith; slice peels into strips.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, cover peels with 4 cups water; bring to a boil, and cook 5 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve, and discard liquid. In same saucepan, add peels and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat, and cook 5 minutes. Strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve, discarding liquid.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine 21/4 cups sugar and remaining 4 cups water over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally until sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Add peels, and bring to a boil. Reduce to heat to medium low; Cover, and simmer until peels are transparent, about 1 hour.
  4. Strain liquid into a bowl or jar, if desired, to use for cocktails or desserts. Place lemon and orange peels on a parchment-lined baking sheet; let cool until peels feel tacky, about 15 minutes.
  5. In a medium bowl, toss lemon and orange peels with the remaining 1/4 cup sugar; return to pan, and let stand for 2 hours. Refrigerate in an airtight container up to 3 weeks.
Louisiana Cookin
Roasted Herb Pecans
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  1. 8 cups pecan halves
  2. ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  3. 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  4. 2 tablespoons fresh chopped sage
  5. 2 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary
  6. 2 tablespoons fresh chopped thyme
  7. 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  8. ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 275°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  2. Spread pecans evenly over prepared pans. Bake until fragrant, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Add butter and remaining ingredients; toss to coat. Spread evenly on baking sheet, and let stand for 1 hour. Store in an airtight container up to 7 days.
Louisiana Cookin
Pecan Pralines
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  1. 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  2. 1 cup sugar
  3. ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  4. ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  5. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  6. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  7. 2 cups pecans
  8. 36 pecan halves
  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring sugars, cream, and baking soda to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook mixture, stirring occasionally, until a candy thermometer registers 240°. Remove from heat, and stir in butter and vanilla. Quickly stir in 2 cups pecans. Continue stirring vigorously until mixture thickens and loses some of its shine, 1 to 2 minutes. Drop 1 tablespoonful mixture onto parchment paper. If sugar hardens before you’re finished, simply add hot water, a tablespoon at a time, until the sugar mixture is the correct consistency. Press 1 pecan half onto the top of each praline. Let stand until firm, 10 to 15 minutes.
Louisiana Cookin


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