Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sweet Spice Pecans

I have been making these pecans for 3 years now as Christmas presents--there are people on this "list" who tell me that they look forward to the Christmas pecans and scarf them down immediately upon receiving them. They are yummy! This is a nice little gourmet gift and doesn't rob the bank; pecans are often on sale during fall and early winter months for $5-$7/pound. I usually figure on 1/2 a pound per gift, more or less. We give these to neighbors, the pediatrician, our pastor, and so forth. The spice blend called for really makes them; cardamom can be bought inexpensively at places like World Market and stores which sell spices in bulk (your regular grocery store will charge you and arm and a leg!). One year, I made extra of the spice blend and packaged that up as a gift along with the pecans and the recipe.

Recipe from Southern Living, November 2005

Sweet Spice Blend (also good on glazed carrots and in rice)
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 4 teaspoons dried ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
Mix all together and store in an airtight container. Makes about 6 tablespoons, or enough for about 6 pounds of nuts.

Sweet Spice Pecans
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Sweet Spice Blend
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 pound pecan halves*
*can use other nuts such as whole almonds and walnut halves, but pecans are the best!

  1. Combine first 3 ingredients in a medium bowl; set aside.
  2. Beat egg white and 1 tablespoon water in a medium bowl using a handheld egg beater or a wire whisk until foamy. (No liquid should remain.) Add pecans, stirring until evenly coated.
  3. Add pecans to sugar mixture, stirring until evenly coated. Place pecans in a single layer on a buttered 15- x 10-inch jelly-roll pan. (If using a stoneware sheet, you won't need to butter it.)
  4. Bake at 275° for 50 to 55 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread immediately in a single layer on wax paper; cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
Makes 1 pound nuts (~5 cups)

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