Two Years Ago: Split Pea Soup
A year ago I published a recipe for spiced pecans that are spicy, sweet and salty - one of my favorites. Most recipes along that line have cayenne and other spices along with sugar and salt, but not everyone likes heat. So, this recipe uses all those wonderful fall spices - cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg - instead of cayenne. The taste is very reminiscent of pumpkin pie spices and would be great for a big gathering where children and adults can both enjoy the nuts. The original recipe called for the higher amount of sugar given in the recipe, which would result in a definitely sweet nut. I cut the sugar in half because I don't particularly have a sweet tooth and found the result to be lightly sweet and warmly spiced.
The typical way to use spiced nuts is for an appetizer or for a gift, but as I snacked on these nuts they also seemed very suited as a garnish for a number of other dishes:
- chopped and sprinkled on roasted or mashed sweet potatoes
- on top of roasted squash
- sprinkled on an ice cream sundae with buttered rum sauce or butterscotch sauce
- chopped up in wild rice
- sprinkled over pumpkin pie
You get the idea.
Fall Spiced Pecans
Makes 3 cups
Note: Using the lesser amount of sugar results in slightly sweet nuts; if you want them sweeter, use the higher amount.
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon water
3 cups pecan halves
¼ cup - ½ cup white sugar (see note)
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Preheat oven to 250d. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
In a medium bowl, beat the egg white with the water until foamy. Add the pecans and stir well. Transfer the nuts to a strainer and shake, then let drain at least 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, rinse and wipe out the bowl, then add the sugar, salt, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg and mix well. Add the nuts back to the bowl and stir until all the spices have evenly coated the nuts and none are left in the bottom of the bowl.
Spread the nuts in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake at 250d for 40 minutes, stirring once at 20 minutes. Reduce temperature to 200d and baking 20-30 minutes longer until dry, watching to make sure the nuts don’t get too dark.
Remove the foil from the baking sheet and let the nuts cool, then loosen any that are stuck to the foil. Store in an airtight container or freeze.