Friday, October 2, 2009

Candied Pecans for Fall Salads and, Let's Be Honest, Snacking

I'm spending a cool, quiet fall afternoon with a cup of tea (Irish Breakfast, plus a splash of milk and honey), a candle (Autumn Promanade), and a oven filled with pecans. If the calendar or weather report doesn't herald autumn's advent then the scents in my kitchen surely do.

I had to pay attention as I mixed the magic elixer for my pecans - I usually just pour in a little of this and a splash of that. If you've never made them before, I recommend that technique - just use my recipe as a guideline. These are really nice with a little kick - hence the cayenne. If you don't believe me, then just add the tiniest pinch. It'll still be a nice seasoning and you won't get any heat.

You can store them in an airtight container for up to a month, I would think. They are so tasty that they never last that long. They are truly delightful scattered on fall salads, especially the Pinch House Salad with pear and Gorgonzola, and the Warm Goat Cheese on Mixed Greens.

Candied Pecans
Print recipe only here

2 cups pecan halves
3-4 T maple syrup
2 t canola oil
1/4 t cinnamon
pinch kosher salt
pinch cayenne (I like a generous pinch!)

Preheat oven to 275.

Combine syrup, oil and spices in a small mixing bowl. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.

Add pecans and, using a flexible spatula, toss well to coat. Use the spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl so that the syrup coats the nuts and not the bowl.

Transfer to a baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 30-45 minutes, stirring a few times during roasting time.

Let cool completely, then transfer to an airtight glass storage container.

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