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Recipe Friday: Sweet’N’Spicy Pecans

Posted on: September 24, 2010

This snack is always a hit. I tend not to have it around the house, since I know I’ll wolf them down, but I’ve taken them to gatherings, and they always go over well. These nuts are sweet, but I also add a hint of sea salt for contrast, and you can add cayenne pepper to your liking. Generally, for a group, I’ll add a small amount of spice, just enough to remind your taste buds that they’re alive.

I prefer to use pecans, but you can use mixed nuts, or almonds, or you can add seeds (sunflower or pumpkin) to the mixture as well.

Sweet’N’Spicy Pecans
adapted from many

1/4 c vegetable oil
2 c white sugar
1/4-3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp sea salt
2 cups unsalted shelled pecans

1. Pour the nuts into a wide skillet over medium high heat and roast them, stirring constantly, for 3-5 minutes or until browned and fragrant. Remove from heat (but keep the nuts in the skillet).

2. Place a small saucepan over medium-high heat and add the sugar and vegetable oil. Stir in the cayenne and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid is reduced to a syrup.

3. Pour the syrup over the nuts and stir to coat evenly. You may need to re-melt the syrup over low heat if it has started to harden, as you want the syrup to be evenly distributed.

4. Spread the nuts out in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. (Resist sampling the nuts until they’ve cooled! They’re HOT!) When the syrup has hardened, break the nuts into individual pieces. Serve or store in an airtight container.

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