My husband could sit and eat a bowl of mixed nuts any ole time. If I had to pick a favorite snacking nut, it would be the pistachio. The fact that I have to spend endless hours shelling them makes it feel like I am eating more than I really am, resulting in much more food satisfaction. And yes, I am aware that you can buy shelled pistachios now. But what’s the fun in that? The only time I buy those at the outrageous prices that they are is when I am making pistachio ice-cream and don’t have the time or desire to shell all those nuts.
Now, if these candied pecans were laying around, they would win as my favorite snacking nut hands down. No contest. I’ve been making them for 15 years and one batch is never enough.
Pecans aren’t cheap where I live, so this isn’t something I make a lot anymore. And when I do, I may hide them deep in the depths of the pantry where lazy people searching for snacks won’t find them.
Put them on ice-cream, that sweet crunch will only enhance your sweet treat. I’ve used them in salads, especially spinach ones where the sweet crunch contrasts nicely with the strong spinach flavor. And they make a great hostess gift.
You better make two batches. At least. Trust me.
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 TAB sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- Pinch cayenne
- Pinch cinnamon
- 2 cups pecans
In a bowl, mix together maple syrup, sugar, salt, cayenne, and cinnamon. Add pecans and stir well to coat evenly.
Spread over parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake in a 325°F oven for 8 minutes. Stir pecans to make sure they are not sticking, and bake about 10 minutes more or until golden. Let cool completely. Break apart any pecans that may have stuck together. Sprinkle more coarse sea salt over the top if you choose.
Store in an airtight container for up to one week.
Makes 2 cups