Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sweet and Spicy Candied Pecans

When I think of candied pecans, I automatically think of those little booths that are set up at the outlet malls with various varieties and flavors of pecans, almonds and other nuts.  I always buy a bag, or two...I mean it's necessary to stock up when the opportuinty presents itself!   If you have been following my blog for any length of time you know that I am a huge fan of the sweet and salty flavor combinations.  These pecans are yet another treat that combine my two favorite flavor profiles.  There is just something magical about these sweet, little sugar coated candies...I mean pecans!

I have come across multiple recipes that call for candied pecans but I have not gotten around to making any of them yet because I thought the process of making the candied pecans would be quite time consuming.  Although there are some recipes out there that are a little more involved (and they all look and sound delicious and I will try them) I came across one that took a matter of minutes to prepare.  I must say I was really impressed and happy with the outcome of these pecans.  I loved the enhanced nutty flavor the pecans have from being toasted.  Add that flavor with salt, a light coating of sugar and a hint of spice from the cayenne and you have a snack that is out of this world...and dangerously addictive.  Alone these pecans are truly delicious, using them as an addition for a soup or salad would add so much flavor and another dimension of texture to the dish.  I can't wait to recreate one of my favorite salads that utilizes these candied pecans...my mouth is watering just thinking about it! 

Now that I know how to make these myself I don't have to wait for a trip to a mall to stock up, I can have them any time I want.  Since this particular recipe is so easy and quick to prepare this could get dangerous.  But that's a risk I'm willing to take!

Candied Pecans

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup halved pecans
3 Tbsp sugar
1/8 Tsp salt
Dash cayenne pepper

Directions:

Place a medium, non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Place the pecans, sugar, and salt in the pan.  Cook for about 3 minutes; until sugar begins to melt and coat the pecans.  Shake the pan slightly throughout the cooking process to eliminate burning and to ensure all pecans are coated with the sugar.  Once the sugar is melted and cooking is complete, sprinkle with the cayenne pepper and toss to coat.  Spread the pecans on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and allow to cool.  Store in a air-tight container.

Recipe source: slightly adapted from My recipes

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