My name is Ashley McLaughlin and this is my blog, Edible Perspective. To learn more about my journey head on over to my about + FAQ pages. I'm thrilled that you stopped by. Enjoy!

 

 


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Tuesday
Dec112012

nut clusters + gifts in jars

Monday.  What happened??  You were not so fun. 

It started bright + early with a lock you and your husband out of the house when you’re already running late and your husband has a deadline kind of morning.

It was also 15 degrees outside.  I am awesome.

nut clusters in a jar, 3-ways || edible perspective

What saved the day were these sweet + crunchy nut clusters.

In three different flavors.

Packed in jars for you or a friend!

nut clusters in a jar, 3-ways || edible perspective

Can I go off on a tangent about jars for a second?  Yes?  I think I hear you saying “yes.” 

I am obsessed with jars.  Jars of all kinds.  They just have so many uses!! 

Don’t know what to do with a random kitchen ingredient?  Put it in a jar.

Don’t know what to do with the bulk spices you boughtPut them in 4oz – 8oz jars.

Need to pack fruit + yogurt to go?  Put it in a reused glass jelly jar.

Need to give a gift?  Definitely, put it in a jar.

Want to have fun drinking water?  Pour it in a jar.

Want to have fun drinking wine?  Pour it in a jar.  Refill multiple times.

Just made 3 batches of homemade nut butter? J.A.R. IT!!

nut clusters in a jar, 3-ways || edible perspective

Thanks for letting me get all of that off my chest.

nut clusters in a jar, 3-ways || edible perspective

As you can see my love for jars runs deep. 

I think it makes such a fun way to deliver a gift that is personalized without breaking the bank.  You can dress the jar up or leave it as is.  You can fill it with something sweet or savory.  And either way, your loved one ends up with a sweet reusable jar filled with something super delicious. 

nut clusters in a jar, 3-ways || edible perspective

Like, nut clusters.

Which are so easy to make you are going to cry.

nut clusters in a jar, 3-ways || edible perspective

This post is going to be the start of a series called, Gifts In Jars.

I’m not positive on the number of days for this series, but I have handfuls of ideas swimming in my head. It depends on the feedback I get from all of you!

nut clusters in a jar, 3-ways || edible perspective

nut clusters in a jar, 3-ways || edible perspective

Print this!

Nut Clusters in Jars vegan/gluten-free/grain-free

Maple Espresso Nut Clusters [fills about 3, 12oz jars]

  • 1 1/2 cups mixed raw nuts
  • 1/2 cup raw pepitas
  • 1/3 cup pure grade B maple syrup, warmed
  • 1 tablespoon unrefined coconut oil, melted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
  • flaked sea salt [optional]
  1. Preheat your oven to 300* and line a baking sheet with parchment paper [or a silpat].
  2. Whisk the syrup, coconut oil, and espresso powder together until the espresso is mostly dissolved.  Coconut oil is crucial in the hardening of the clusters.
  3. Spread nuts and pepitas on the lined baking sheet and toss with the syrup mixture.
  4. Spread into an even layer while keeping the nuts and seeds touching.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes, toss with a silicone spatula and bake for another 10-12 minutes, until golden brown.
  6. Sprinkle with flaked sea salt [if desired], then let cool for 15 minutes [or so].
  7. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for about 30 minutes until fully set and hardened.
  8. Break apart and place in jars, then seal with a lid.

*I used 1/2 cup raw almonds, cashews, and pecans.

Vanilla Bean Maple Sea Salt Nut Clusters [fills about 3, 12oz jars]

  • 2 cups mixed raw nuts
  • 1/3 cup pure grade B maple syrup, warmed
  • 1 tablespoon unrefined coconut oil, melted
  • 3/4 – 1 whole vanilla bean pod, sliced + scraped
  • flaked sea salt
  1. Preheat your oven to 300* and line a baking sheet with parchment paper [or a silpat].
  2. Whisk the syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla beans together until combined.  Coconut oil is crucial in the hardening of the clusters.
  3. Spread nuts on the lined baking sheet and toss with the syrup mixture.
  4. Spread into an even layer while keeping the nuts touching.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes, toss with a silicone spatula and bake for another 10-12 minutes, until golden brown.
  6. Sprinkle with flaked sea salt, then let cool for 15 minutes [or so].
  7. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for about 30 minutes until fully set and hardened.
  8. Break apart and place in jars, then seal with a lid.

*I used 3/4 cup raw almonds and pecans

*Use 1 vanilla bean for a more fragrant vanilla flavor.

Cinnamon Maple Sea Salt Nut Clusters [fills about 3, 12oz jars]

  • 1 1/2 cups mixed raw nuts
  • 1/2 cup raw pepitas
  • 1/3 cup pure grade B maple syrup, warmed
  • 1 tablespoon unrefined coconut oil, melted
  • 1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • flaked sea salt
  1. Preheat your oven to 300* and line a baking sheet with parchment paper [or a silpat].
  2. Whisk the syrup, coconut oil, and cinnamon together until combined.  Coconut oil is crucial in the hardening of the clusters.
  3. Spread nuts and pepitas on the lined baking sheet and toss with the syrup mixture.
  4. Spread into an even layer while keeping the nuts and seeds touching.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes, toss with a silicone spatula and bake for another 10-12 minutes, until golden brown.
  6. Let cool for 15 minutes [or so] then place the baking sheet in the freezer for about 30 minutes until fully set and hardened.
  7. Break apart and place in jars then seal with the lid.

*I used 1/2 cup raw almonds, cashews, and pecans.

nut clusters in a jar, 3-ways || edible perspective

To decorate the jars I got crafty with a few things I had around the house.

  • burlap [easy find at Michaels or any craft store – it comes in a roll]
  • hemp cord [craft store]
  • thick cardstock for the tags and 8 minutes in Photoshop making them [you could easily handwrite them as well!]
  • mini clothespins [Michaels]

Here’s the basic rundown of what I did:

  1. Plugged in a mini glue gun.
  2. Cut a piece of burlap long enough to fit around the jar.
  3. Folded the burlap in half.
  4. Glued one end to the jar and then glued the other end, pulling tightly.
  5. Cut 3 pieces of cord long enough to wrap around the jar 4-6 times.
  6. Then, either: A] punched two small holes into the card with a pushpin, ran the cord through, and wrapped it multiple times, hot gluing it in the back to secure –or B] wrapped the cord around the jar multiple times and then clipped the clothespin to the cord with the tag

Done!

nut clusters in a jar, 3-ways || edible perspective

Want to join in the gift giving fun??

If you want to share a gift in a jar that you’re making this year, please feel free to do so! 

Either tweet or instagram the photo to @edibleASH with the hashtag: #giftsinjars

Or, email the photo and your name to at: edibleperspective AT gmail DOT com

I’ll dedicate a post to showing off your whatever jarred gifts you make!

Ashley 

Reader Comments (46)

This is a great idea. Every time I have offered such a gift I have found myself astonished by the recivers' reactions: " Oh!!! Did YOU really make this?!?! It's awsome!" And they remember it for a long time. Now that holidays are close these jars are going to be much appreciated! Thank you.
December 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIoanna
I am also obsessed with jars:) looks awesome!
December 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJessica
Looks delicious. You also gave me an idea of what to do to replace all those plastic containers that I somehow don't feel are healthy. Jars!
December 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShireen D
Oh goodness no! I've done this before (read, lock my husband out of the house) and I remember him being extremely unhappy about it. Hope today is much much better for you lady! PS- These look fantastic and a perfect holiday gift!
December 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLauren
I just love things in jars, they are so much cuter and parsed out!
December 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAbby @ The Frosted Vegan
Oh my god, those ones with the little clothes pins are just too adorable!! And cinnamon maple sea salt? Amazing combo.
December 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJessica L.
Bring on the jars! I'm also obsessed. My pantry is swimming with them. I need MORE ideas!!
December 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKatie
Yes! More jar ideas, please! I kind of wish there was a rule at Christmas time where all gifts must be homemade instead of purchased at a big box store :-)
December 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrooke
@Ioanna - I completely agree!

@Shireen - We've also replaced plastic with glass for storing things. The canning jars are such a cheap option!

@Lauren - Yeah...it was pretty spectacular that I locked us both out at the same time. "Do you have the ke---" *door slam*--- "No...I don't" :) Oops.

@Jessica - The mini clothespins get me every time...hehe
December 11, 2012 | Registered CommenterAshley
um, these are freaking ADORABLE. If I could, I would put my excitement about how much I want to make these in a jar.
December 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJessica
Love this! More gift in a jar ideas please!!!!!
December 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate
I share your obsession with jars. I cannot recycle or throw them away, so my collection keeps growing and is getting out of control! Please keep the gift ideas coming--LOVE!
December 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEmily
These are gorgeous and look delicious! I love the burlap and string with the tags... so rustic. :)
I saw some teeny-tiny clothespins for sale at Michael's the other day (they were only about 3/4" long) and wanted to buy them, but had no idea what I would do with them. Now I know!
Mmm this sounds lovely!
December 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKatrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
Love this idea, Ashley!
December 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLauren @ sassy molassy
I adore jars SO much. So much, in fact, we are joining the multitudes of people using wide-mouth quart jars as wedding decorations for our wedding next May. That I will then repurpose for canning or for storage or for salads or for homemade yogurt or.. or.. endless possibilities.
December 11, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdeva at deva by definition
I want a savory nut cluster in a jar recipe pretty please!
December 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSarah Cherim
@Sarah - I know! I was thinking that but you definitely need quite a bit of maple syrup/honey/brown rice syrup to make everything stick, so it would end up sweet + savory. Definitely could work! If you're looking for a savory nut recipe, I made smoked paprika almonds a few years back -- http://www.edibleperspective.com/home/2010/11/25/im-smoked.html :)
December 11, 2012 | Registered CommenterAshley
Love this! (Not getting locked out of your house). And I LOVE jars too! :)
December 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKatie @ Talk Less, Say More
Yes please gifts in jars! I love giving (and receiving) jarred gifts, and am always on the look-out for new ideas. These look lovely :D
December 11, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersnenny
I am so happy that someone shares my love for jars!!! I save all my jars and use them to drink from. And I like to make pretty decorations with them, also. Now you have given me more ideas for jar uses - hooray! I'm definitely going to make the espresso nuts - yummy!
December 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRachel K
Love the burlap idea!!
December 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLori @ forkfuloffreedom
Cocktails in jars are always the best :)
This is such a cute idea. I feel kind of enslaved to the "bake plates of cookies for all my friends" idea, but I think I'm going to do something a little more special for a select few. Something in a jar would be perfect!
December 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKatie @ Blonde Ambition
I have a HUGE collection of jars in my kitchen drawers, cupboards, you name it. My husband is starting to think I'm a crazy person, but I'd much rather use them than tupperware! Gifts in jars is a fabulous idea... except I'd have a really hard time giving them away ;)
December 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChrista @ Edible Balance
Also, lattes in jars = spectacular. There's also a brewery in Flagstaff, AZ that serves some awesome bloody mary's in 32 oz Mason Jars. I'm with you on the jar obsession!
December 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBritta
YES, please, more gifts in jars!!!! These look so yummy and I have most of this already!
December 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAMANDA
i already love the new series :) i´ve already thought about doing some gift in jars and so i´m really happy to get some inspiration ! and by the way the nut clusters look really yummy :)
December 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFranni
These are beautiful. I also like to make granola and package it into jars for gift giving.
December 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTami@NutmegNotebook
Great idea! Love the combinations you've created, and the burlap covered jars. Thanks for a great gift idea!
December 11, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteragi
love this soo much!! Will use this for gifts!
December 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMaureen
I'm thinking about giving a few gifts in jars this year, but I haven't completely decided what to put in them yet. I'm considering loose-leaf tea, homemade hot chocolate mix (possibly salted caramel hot chocolate), spiced pecans, and/or granola. I need to decide soon! I absolutely love how you decorated your jars - they look amazing! I'm planning to paint kind of a confetti design onto mine. We'll see how that turns out!
December 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie @ Legally Blinde
I'm such a fan of jars, too. They really do make everything more fun! These nut clusters sound so delicious, and definitely a great holiday gift! I'm especially partial to the vanilla maple sea salt version, but I know my boyfriend will be ecstatic with the espresso variation. I guess I'll just have to make both! (not that I'm complaining :))
I am dying to try the vanilla bean maple clusters!
I just made the espresso nut clusters last night and I had such a hard time putting them in jars instead of my mouth!!! Assuming I don't eat it all before gifting them, how long will they stay 'fresh'?
December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChatelaine
@Chatelaine - I'm so glad to hear you like them! I hope they make it to the jars. ;) I don't really know exactly how long they'll stay fresh, but I made mine Sunday and they aren't showing any signs of aging. I would think at least 1 week if not 2-3. Definitely longer if you keep the container in the fridge.
December 13, 2012 | Registered CommenterAshley
I have so many ideas and such good intentions when it comes to jars! I save any and every single one we have in the house...but once I clean them out they sit there...and sit there...and sit there until my husband threatens to trash them if I don't do something with them!
I love jars too! I can never bring myself to throw out a perfectly good jar, so I've accumulated quite a large collection. I love your idea to use them to package gifts. I would be thrilled to get a gift like this! The nut clusters look delicious. I will definitely be making some to give out this year (and some for myself too).
December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKerry
hi! long time reader, first time commenter :-) question for you: i just made the espresso and the cinnamon clusters. the cinnamon ones once they'd come out of the freezer for about 20 minutes and i was going to put them into jars seemed almost wet, really sticky, and i wasn't sure what to do. put them back in the oven? where did i go wrong?
December 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAD
@AD - Hi there! I'm so sorry they didn't firm up. They definitely aren't super solid/hard like the ones you can buy that are compressed into solid chunks/squares. But, they definitely should firm up as long as you used maple syrup and coconut oil. Maybe pop them back in the freezer for another 20 minutes. I've kept them at room temp for a week now and they haven't changed much, maybe slightly softened but not in a stale way. I didn't experience them being wet at all. I made a 2nd trial with half maple and half honey and they were definitely much softer and gooey. I'm so sorry if they weren't what you were expecting!
December 16, 2012 | Registered CommenterAshley
Hi, I just found your blog from Facebook and popped by for a visit. I adore homemade food gifts and these recipes look and sound delicious! Thanks for sharing.
December 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShelley Alexander
I made the maple cinnamon nut clusters...they turned out sooo yummy! I can't wait to give them to my cousins. On a side note, this is the first time I've used coconut oil...do you store yours in the refrigerator?
December 19, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkathleen
@Kathleen - I'm so glad to hear you are enjoying the cinnamon nut clusters! Coconut oil can be stored at room temp or in the fridge. It doesn't matter at all! Sometimes it will become soft at room temp or in the warmer months may fully liquefy, which is normal. It can go back and forth between solid and liquid without having a negative effect. When using in baked recipes, you'll typically want all of the ingredients room temperature and use softened or melted coconut oil so it fully incorporates. If the other ingredients [like eggs + milk] are chilled, the coconut oil will seize up and not evenly distribute in the batter. Sometimes, it can be used as a stabilizer since it hardens when chilled. Hope that helps! :)
December 19, 2012 | Registered CommenterAshley
I made a basket full of different homemade treats in jars as a Christmas gift for my parents. The cinnamon maple nut clusters we're of course included, and they were the favorite. I kept some for myself too, and they were delicious. This was such an easy and impressive gift! I'll definitely be giving them out again next year. Thanks for sharing the recipe!
December 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKerry
Hi, I love these recipes. I was wondering if I could use vanilla extract instead of vanilla beans and if so how much would I need to use in order to replace the beans?
June 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKatie
Hey, is this in Fahrenheit or Celsius? Thanks
December 23, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersam
@Sam - Fahrenheit...sorry about that! :)
December 24, 2013 | Registered CommenterAshley

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