I love nuts, any kind of nuts. But if posed the proverbial question “what if you were stranded on a desert island and you could only have one kind of nut, what would it be”. My answer, hands down would be pecans, a no-brainer. Pecans have a buttery, sweet nutty flavor. When making chocolate chip cookies, brownies even salads, I reach for pecans to toss in. I am also a sucker for candied pecans and lucky for me my cousin Bonnie has perfected her Candied Spiced Pecans. Every year during the holidays she makes a boatload and packs them in cute little jars she has collected over the year (this year Straus Family Cream bottles, very nifty and thrifty). I secretly hope she brings too many and hands me the extra ones, they’re that good. I asked if I could share her recipe and she graciously said yes, she rocks. A couple of tips, use two pans and spread them out. Lightly beat the egg whites until frothy. Be daring and vary the spices. Making them is really easy, right up there with granola. Throw them in mason jars, add a cute ribbon and voila’ the perfect hostess gift. Nuts are expensive, luckily you can find reasonably priced pecans at Costco in 2 pound bags. I suppose you could use other nuts like walnuts or almonds…but why would you?
- 1/2 -1t cayenne pepper
- - 1t if you want to taste the burn
- 1/2t chili powder
- 1-1/2t cinnamon, ground
- 1/2t clove, ground
- 1t ginger, ground
- 1/2t nutmeg, ground ( I use mace, which I love)
- 1t salt
- 3/4c sugar
- - opt. 1/4c dark brown + 1/2c white
- 2 egg whites=1/4c, slightly beaten
- 1t water
- 8c pecans
- (costco 8c = 2lb bag)
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- Line one cookie sheet with parchment.
- Measure out dry spice mix ingredients into a ziploc box.
- In the large bowl combine egg whites and water, use wood spatula to lightly beat mixture. Cut open bag of pecans and dump into egg+water bowl.
- Mix nuts with wood spatulas until all pecans are glistening.
- Dump in spice mix. Combine until all the pecans are coated.
- Pour nuts onto the parchment lined cookie sheets. Spread nuts out as flat as possible.
- Bake for 25 - 35 minutes, or until dry (the coating has bubbled up and turned whitish).
- Stir occasionally while baking.
- Meanwhile, spread a large sheet of parchment paper (large enough to cool all the pecans in a single layer) on the counter.
- Using a spatula, push hot nuts off cookie sheet parchment and on to counter top parchment. Separate nuts while still warm (once cooled, the nuts will crack instead of separate).
- Allow to cool completely before storing in air tight containers.
Please let me know if you try these!