It’s almost here! We’re actually, really, truly getting married this Saturday and I’m so excited I can’t sit still. This is the last post in this series on our reception food, and after that I’ll finally stop yammering to you about it — in three days, we’ll be noshing on these caramelized onion & Boursin tartlets, this spicy ahi poke parfaitini, and slicing into a real-people version of this cake, among other things (like a rosemary-perfumed short rib and vibrant purple Okinawan sweet potato puree, be still my heart). And as our wedding favors, we’ll be handing out this last recipe!
For our favors I’d originally considered little jars of Kona coffee, but I didn’t want to give out whole beans in case anyone didn’t have a coffee grinder, and B2 pointed out that giving out coffee grounds might look a wee bit like we were giving out jars of dirt. Instead, he had this brilliant idea to give away candied macadamia nuts — simultaneously fulfilling my waylaid dream of adding a personal touch to our wedding menu and my mother’s request that we give away something sweet after the wedding as part of a Chinese wedding tradition. How about that.
So the morning after we landed in Hawaii, I broke out his mother’s saucepans and the world’s largest bulk bag of macadamia nuts and spent Saturday making and jarring these little babes. I tested a couple different methods at home last month, and happily, the one that we liked the best was the one that was incredibly quick and almost stupidly simple – always helpful when you’re making enough for 130 people. All it takes is a saucepan, macadamia nuts (or any other nuts you like), sugar, instant espresso powder, and a touch of coarse salt. Not even an oven.
And that’s the end of our wedding series! I could not be more thrilled to marry my bowl-companion, wedding favor genius, perpetual slumber-partier, and life-mate in just a few sleeps. Next Monday we’re going to Japan (!) for our honeymoon (where I plan to eat no less than two bowls of ramen per day and about seventeen cones of black sesame soft serve per hour and maybe also do things other than eat) so it’ll be a little quiet around here for a few weeks, but you can catch a few snaps of our adventures on Instagram if you like, and otherwise I’ll see you all again super soon. Thank you so much for being as excited about this wedding series as I’ve been! You guys are the best.
Also! To thank you guys for the fact that I’ve been a wedding one-note lately, I paired up with Season with Spice to do a little giveaway to end this series. Reese and Mark are the loveliest couple who run Season with Spice together and are on the ground through every step of the process, and it shows in their thoughtfully produced and curated spices – I used their Sriracha Sea Salt in these parfaitinis and am addicted to their Hong Kong coffee-tea yuanyang mix. And by amazing coincidence, Season with Spice makes a Vanilla Coffee Sea Salt that is extravagantly good and beyond perfect as the finishing touch on these nuts to bring out all the flavors in them. They’ve generously offered three readers an assorted pack of their Vanilla Coffee Sea Salt, Sriracha Sea Salt, and Thai Ginger Lime Sea Salt for today’s giveaway, and to enter all you have to do is leave a comment below and have a U.S. mailing address. The giveaway ends Wednesday, July 8th at 11:59 PM and the winners will be notified via email!
- 2 cups roasted macadamia nuts
- 6 tbsp white granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tsp instant espresso powder (up to 2 tsp for a stronger coffee flavor)
- small pinch salt (1/8 tsp)
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat. Combine all ingredients in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat and stir just until combined. Let sit over medium heat until the syrup melts and begins to simmer, about 30 seconds to a minute. Continue to let simmer for another 1-2 minutes, without stirring. The syrup should become smooth and bubbly.
- Cook for one more minute, stirring continuously, until the syrup coats the nuts instead of staying in the pan, and the nuts begin to form clumps instead of separating easily. Do not remove before the nuts begin to clump, or else the syrup may be too wet and will not harden sufficiently. My batches were consistently done by about 4 minutes of cooking over medium heat.
- When ready, transfer immediately onto a sheet of parchment paper and spread out as much as possible. The syrup should begin to harden almost immediately, and will lighten and turn matte as it dries. Let cool completely, then break into individual pieces, enjoy or package as gifts!
I did not try making more than 2 cups in a pan at a time, but the batches go so quickly that making large quantities was not an issue. Just give the pan a quick rinse with warm water in between batches. Subsequent batches will take less time, about 3 minutes or so, because the pan will already be warm.