Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Spiced Pecans

Not to be confused with Sweet Cinnamon Pecans, these pecans are spicier, with just a hint of sweetness. I like pecans, but I don't have a thing for them in particular (I say that because I'm sure it looks that way with post #2 coming just two weeks after the first pecan post). I made these specifically to go on a salad that I plan on making tomorrow.  But I have to say, they're pretty good on their own...maybe in a bowl for that big New Year's Eve party. Or maybe to munch while you watch the ball drop by yourself and fall asleep in front of the tv with crumbs on your jammies (no shame, we've all been there).


Yield: 1 pound (about 4 cups)

1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more or less to taste)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 pound pecan halves
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons water

1.      Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.
2.      Mix salt, cumin, cayenne, cinnamon and orange zest together in a small bowl and set aside.
3.      Place the nuts in a 10-inch heavy skillet and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5-8 minutes until they just start to brown and smell toasted.
4.      Add the butter and stir until it melts. Add the spice mixture and stir to combine. Once combined, add both sugars and water, stirring until the mixture thickens and coats the pecans, approximately 5-7 minutes.
5.      Transfer nuts to prepared sheet pan and separate them with a fork or spatula. Allow to cool completely.  Store in an airtight container (can be stored up to 3 weeks).

adapted from Alton Brown
Mmm...can you smell the toasty nutty goodness? I didn't think so.

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