vanilla walnuts - christmas gifts

Vanilla Walnuts – Super Easy Handmade Gift

vanilla walnuts - christmas gifts

This post is part of my 10 Week Christmas Planning Series. Click here to read more posts – Christmas Planning 2013.

The end of the preschool and school year seem to come quicker than I expected this year, so I needed a super quick and easy handmade gift for some of the kids’ teachers. I stumbled across this recipe and tweaked it a little to make delicious Vanilla Walnuts.

They were a hit! The preschooler and I loved them when we taste tested them and the teachers said they loved them too.

I recently bought a cast iron frying pan, as I had wanted one for a while, it was perfect for making these vanilla walnuts.  I have been liking the look of a number of recipes that use a cast iron frying pan on the stove top first off and then place the pan in the oven. Now I have my cast iron frying pan I am looking forward to trying them.

The combination of maple syrup and vanilla give a lovely sweetness to the walnuts.

Did you know that walnuts are a great source of omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)?

We tied some ribbon around each of the jars, added a tag and placed them into a little gift bag.

Then the preschooler took them to kinder to hand out to his teachers.

(And on a completely non cooking related note, I had a great laugh with the kids about my new cast iron frying pan as it feels just like the one Rapunzel would use in Tangled – frying pans,who knew??? If you are reading via email, click to see a short frying pan clip here if like me you are a fan of Tangled!)

Vanilla Walnuts - Super Easy Handmade Gift
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Sweet treats
Serves: 4
  • 250 grams walnut halves
  • 4 tsps coconut oil
  • 2 tbps maple syrup
  • ½ tsp himalayan sea salt
  • 2 vanilla beans
  1. Prepare a tray with baking paper for the walnuts to cool on when finished.
  2. Split the vanilla beans and set aside.
  3. Heat cast iron frying pan on low for a couple of minutes then add the oil and increase the temperature to medium.
  4. Once the oil is melted and warm add the walnuts. Stir to coat the walnuts with the oil.
  5. Stir every 30 seconds or so until you can start to smell the nuts. This takes about 3 - 4 minutes.
  6. Once they have roasted slightly, turn down the heat to low and add the maple syrup and salt. Stir constantly for 1 - 2 minutes.
  7. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla beans into the pan. Stir well to combine the flavours.
  8. Pour the nuts out onto a tray lined with baking paper and let cool.
  9. Once completely cooled, spoon walnuts into jars. Place the lid and add some ribbon and your tasty gift is ready!

Family Friendly Recipes

If you are looking for further recipe inspiration, check out my complete list of Family Friendly Recipes. You might like to also check out Planning With Kids Menu Planning App.

Menu Planner App

The kid friendly menu planning app allows you to:

  • Create weekly menu plans quickly, choosing as many meals per day as you would like to plan for.
  • Generate the shopping list for all the meals selected.
  • Modify the shopping list to check off items you already have at home.
  • Email the shopping list to yourself and/or others.

The most popular recipes from the blog have been included and more will be added on a weekly basis. The app will notify you when new recipes have been added, so you will be able to deliver plenty of variety in your family’s menu plans. Each recipe lists the ingredients required, easy to follow instructions and a photo from the blog.