Easy Entertaining with Hickory Farms

Warm weather, sunny skies, and outdoor activities – summer has finally arrived! With summer being officially here and in full swing, Hickory Farms wants to be sure you have tips and ideas for making this summer fun, easy, and unforgettable. One of the best ways you can utilize all of the things summer has to offer, is by having the tools to host super easy gatherings outside so you can not only enjoy the beautiful skies and warm weather, but the company of your closest friends and family.

Casual Appetizers

One of the nice things about summer, is the relaxed atmosphere that it provides. With that, an ornate spread is not always necessary. Easy finger foods that guests can grab and go to continue conversation is all it takes to keep your guests satisfied. For an easy appetizer that’s just as simple to assemble, consider delighting your guests with delicious party skewers that will appeal to every palate. Try pairing together the great flavors of our Signature Beef Summer Sausage, your favorite cheeses, and the veggies of your choosing. Slice your sausage and cheese into bite sized cubes, and slide all of the ingredients onto the skewer. Not only are these skewers, simple and delicious, but they also provide a beautiful and colorful touch as the centerpiece to your gathering.

 

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Summertime Martini

Every gathering could use a signature cocktail, and a fruity drink is perfect for these summer months. A fruity beverage is a refreshing way to treat your guests, and allows you to utilize the fruit that is at the peak of freshness this season. We chose to create a Kiwi Martini using the kiwi and Navel Oranges from our Very Special Variety Fruit Gift Box. Using citrus vodka, simple syrup, muddled kiwi, and a skewer of kiwi and orange as a final garnish, you’ll be presenting your guests with a summertime beverage that is second to none.

 

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With the arrival of summer, these helpful tips, and your favorite gifts from Hickory Farms, you’ll be well on your way to summertime entertaining that is sure to become a new tradition.

Seasonal Recipe – Spiced Applesauce Pecan Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

gourmet nuts

Source: Gourmet

Even though Applesauce Cake Day has already passed us by, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy a moist and fruity cake all year round. This Spiced Applesauce Pecan Cake recipe is packed full of great flavors and even features a decadently rich and creamy Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting. You can whip up this delicious recipe with a couple ingredients from Hickory Farms. It’s sure to be a hit at your next family gathering!

gourmet nuts

Source: Smitten Kitchen

Bake the cake

Start by getting your oven ready by preheating it to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, grease a small pan with butter or line it with parchment paper.

applesauce cake

Source: Smitten Kitchen

Next, combine some butter, a dash of vanilla and a scoop of brown sugar into a stand mixer. You want your butter to be whipped and airy. Then, add in your eggs and some apple sauce. After everything is mixed together, reduce the speed of your mixer and slowly add in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and a variety of spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, or whatever other spices you prefer.

applesauce cake

Source: Smitten Kitchen

Once your batter is thoroughly stirred, chop up a handful of our mixed nuts and throw them into the mix. Add your batter to the prepared pan and place in your preheated oven. Then, bake until your cake is nice and golden brown.

applesauce cake

Source: Smitten Kitchen

Add the finishing touches

No cake is complete without a decadent frosting. Simply combine cream cheese, butter and a bit of vanilla in a mixer until the frosting is nice and fluffy. Then, finish by adding powdered sugar and cinnamon.

applesauce cake

Source: Smitten Kitchen

Once your cake is cool, spread your frosting over the entire surface of the cake, making sure to cover the sides well. For extra texture, top the frosting with more chopped nuts.

 

mixed nuts gift tin

With this delicious recipe and a couple of essential ingredients from Hickory Farms’ Our Finest Mixed Nuts Gift Tin, which features a mixture of almonds, cashew and pecans — you’ll be able to enjoy this delicious applesauce cake all year long.

Seasonal Recipe: No Bake Lemon Cashew Squares

Source: Healthful Pursuit

What happens when you combine the nutty, slightly salty deliciousness of cashews with a light and creamy tart lemon topping? The answer is the perfect springtime dessert. Take advantage of the yummy cashews in Hickory Farms Colossal Cashews Gift Tin to prepare one of our favorite recipes, delicious No Bake Lemon Cashew Squares.

Source: Healthful Pursuit

Start by preparing the base

Using a food processor, throw in a handful of your cashews, an equal amount of raw almonds and about 20 Medjool dates, making sure to remove the pits. Pulse the ingredients until you have a nice chop and everything is well mixed. To maintain a good texture, make sure you don’t pulse too much.

Source: Healthful Pursuit

After your mixture has reached the perfect consistency, add it to your baking dish and push down to spread the fruits and nuts evenly. Then, simply place the base in the freezer.

Source: Healthful Pursuit

Make the fluffy whipped topping

To add a burst of cashew flavor, you can incorporate more cashews into the topping. Start by soaking a couple cups of cashews in water for two hours. Then, rinse and drain the nuts. Place the soaked cashews in the food processor, along with lemon zest and lemon juice. To add a hint of the tropics, mix in a bit of coconut nectar and coconut oil. Finish with a vanilla bean flesh and process until smooth. Once you have a nice, fluffy consistency, stir in a can of coconut cream and process again until the mixture is super creamy.

Source: Healthful Pursuit

Now that you have your silky topping prepared, simply pour it over the base and place the whole thing in the refrigerator. Let your bars cool overnight, allowing them to solidify a bit. When you’re ready to serve, just cut your bars into squares and top with a little sprinkle of chopped cashews.

 

Whether you’re looking for an easy make-ahead dessert for entertaining or a simple weeknight treat for the family, these delicious bars are the perfect choice. With our Colossal Cashews Gift Tin and a delicious recipe, we’ll always have your next dessert covered.