A few weeks ago, my friends and I were having a post-gym Whole Foods tryst. Yes, we go to Whole Foods after the gym. At 9:30pm. Whatever. One of my friends found something that I'm calling the "Nut Bar". No snickering. This is serious talk here. The Nut Bar at Whole Foods is sort of like a candy bar. A variety of nuts are displayed in a case and you can choose which one(s) you want, or you can mix-and-match. Whatever you desire.
This find immediately kicked our killer taste testing skills into high gear. Resoundingly, our favorite type of nut was a pumpkin spiced pecan. This was honestly the best candied pecan I had ever tasted. I could have eaten a pound of this stuff, which was why I didn't buy any. Know thyself.
However, the universe seems to realize that I can only hold out so long. Recently, I woke up to a post by JTB (aka Joy The Baker) in which she blogged about a candied pecan biscotti she had recently made. Though I won't turn it down, I'm not a huge fan of biscotti. What really caught my eye was the mention of candied pecans. Do you mean I can make my own candied pecans at home? Oh yes. I had hit the jackpot.
I found a bag of pecans in the cupboard. They may have been living in the cupboard for quite a while. I don't want to talk about it. Let's get down to business.
recipe very slightly adapted from Joy The Baker
yields 1 1/2 cups pecans
- 1 large egg white
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups raw pecan halves
1) Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
2) In a medium bowl, whisk egg white until the whites have foamed into small white bubbles.
3) Add sugar, spices, and salt. Whisk the mixture until thick and opaque.
4) Add pecans and toss to coat.
5) Once thoroughly coated, spoon the pecans onto the parchment paper. Leave as much extra coating in the bowl as possible.
(Yeah...I didn't take my own advice.)
6) Bake for 25 - 30 minutes, or until pecans are fragrant and toasted golden brown.
7) Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before digging in.
Don't mind if things get messy while you're pulling this snack together. Just play it cool. Play it cool and make sure to get rid of excess egg white/spice mix which tries to hang on to your pecans. Otherwise you may end up with a sort of "pecan bark" like I did. Of course it wasn't the end of the world. I just had to apply some extra elbow grease to break the pecans apart. It's probably because I only used 1 1/2 cups of pecans instead of the 2 cups that JTB calls for. An extra half cup of pecans would have required a trip to the grocery store. Um...about that. No.
I want to talk about this candied pecan business though. It IS the business. As in, stuff-your-face-business. My preferred M.O. for eating these things consist of picking up one or two, eating while walking away, then finding some reason to walk past the bowl again and again. Yes. This stuff is like crack. You can't quit it. The sweetness, the smokiness, the oh-so-slight spiciness...heaven. I guarantee that you will not regret the decision to make these!