Thursday, April 29, 2010

Spicy and Sweet Candied Pecans

The other night my husband and I went to one of our favorite steakhouses in Houston, The Taste of Texas. Since we are on a budget (no steak for us!) we ordered the salad bar and split a chicken sandwich :) I could go on and tell y'all how amazing this salad bar is, but I won't take the chance of boring you. Anyways, the salad bar featured candied pecans which truly made the salad. I attempted to replicate the recipe; however, they still need a little tweeking. But I must say they came out so good. These pecans also make great topping for ice cream, a yummy snack, or a sweet gift for any special occassion. Hope you enjoy.

2 cups pecan pieces or halves
1 tbsp butter
3 tbsp dark brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tbsp real maple syrup
2 tsp kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray. Spread the pecans on the baking sheet and toast them in the oven until slightly browned and fragrant (about 10 minutes). Stir every couple of minutes to prevent burning and evenly cook. While the pecans are toasting, prepare the coating mixture. Melt butter and put into a bowl. Stir in the brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, salt, and cayenne pepper. Once the pecans are fragrant, remove form oven and pour the hot nuts into the coating mixture. Coat evently and pour them back onto the foil-lined baking sheet. Make sure to spread them evenly. Bake for another 10 minutes, again stirring every couple of minutes. Remove the nuts from the oven and allow to cool and crisp on baking sheet.

Things I learned:
1. Don't cook pecans in your toaster oven. They will burn, even if you are careful!
2. Pecans are too hot to eat right after the come out of the oven :(


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