In today’s post, we’re celebrating our birthday with a crunchier, sweet and salty snack that uses candied hazelnuts.

Candied hazels have been used in baking, as a substitute for sugar, in the past and in this recipe, we use candied peanuts, and they come out looking like a creamy, sweet-and-salty dessert.

You’ll want to enjoy it immediately, but you can also refrigerate it in an airtight container for up to two days.

If you don’ want to spend that much time chilling out, you can store the candied nut mixture in an ice cube tray and store it at room temperature.

If using raw nuts, use a quality, natural, unprocessed hazelnut, like the ones that have been grown at the Center for Food Security and the Environment, or the ones made with real hazel nuts and seeds.

Just be sure to use nut-free hazel nut oil, because it will make the nuts more nutty and less salty.

Ingredients 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and divided 1 cup hazel flakes (about 3/4 cup) 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves 1/16 teaspoon ground ginger 1/3 cup fresh, pitted and dried cherries, rinsed and cut into small pieces (about 1 cup) 3 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk 1/6 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 2 tablespoons candied pecans (or any nut but almonds) Directions Combine butter, hazel flake, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg in a medium bowl.

Whisk together almond milk and vanilla until smooth.

Set aside.

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread a 1-inch layer of chocolate chips onto a baking sheet.

Press the edges of the chocolate chips down into the baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until set.

Remove from oven and let cool completely before cutting into squares or squares with a knife.

Notes Recipe by Kristin McBride, Food Network star, author of Cooking for You: The New Kitchen, and owner of McBride & Sons Food, a family-owned and operated restaurant and bakery in Portland, Oregon.

Kristin has a Bachelors in Food Science from Portland State University.

Follow her on Instagram and Pinterest.

For recipes, tips, and inspiration, check out her blog at www.kristinmcbride.com.