Friday, December 16, 2016

Spiced Pecans

Last Year's Post:  Sugar Snap Pea Salad
Two Years Ago:   Kale and Pancetta Salad

Just a warning, these pecans are addictive.  They're a perfect nibble with a cocktail, and make a great gift.  But actually I like to make and keep a batch in the freezer for a different reason entirely - they're great in salads.  We had a green salad with smoked turkey, apple, blue cheese and these pecans last night, and the salty/sweet/spicy notes of the pecans really added that extra something.  I could also see adding them to your favorite chicken salad sandwich, or a cold pasta salad.

They're really easy to make as long as you keep your eye on them while they're baking and stir them occasionally so they don't get too brown on one side.  The salt and sugar don't melt, but they do stick to the nuts and give them a nice additional crunch.  Just be sure to stir the nuts well so the spices and sugar are evenly distributed before they go in the oven.

My suggestion is to make the recipe once as written, then increase the cayenne if you want them spicier.  As written, they have a little kick but not enough to prevent you from probably eating too many.  Like I said, addicting.

Spiced Pecans
Makes about 2 ½ cups

1 (10 ounce) package pecan halves
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 300d.

Place pecans in a medium bowl.  Melt butter in a heavy small pot, then add cumin and cayenne and stir until aromatic, about 15 seconds.  Pour Over pecans.  Add sugar and salt and stir to coat.  Transfer to a foil-lined baking pan and spread out in one layer.

Bake until the nuts are toasted, stirring every 5 minutes, about 20 minutes total.  Let cool.

Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or freeze for 30-60 days.

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