Holiday gift from the kitchen, spiced pecans

Spiced pecans are my signature holiday food gift.

Spiced pecans are my signature holiday food gift.


Spiced pecans have become my signature holiday party food gift.  Crunchy, salty and sweet with a touch of heat, they are an irresistible cocktail snack.  They also add personality to a cheese plate or a simple green salad.

A homemade food gift is more personal and saves money, and who doesn’t want to save money at this time of the year?   I buy the pecans at a warehouse club and package them in repurposed mason or jam jars decorated with a bit of Christmas ribbon or a sprig of fresh holly or rosemary from the garden.

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Spiced Pecans


  • 2 cups unsalted pecan halves
  • 1/2 cup confectioner's (icing) sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne or ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt


  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, cover the pecans with water. Transfer to a sieve and shake out water.
  2. 2. In another bowl, whisk the confectioners’ sugar, cayenne or cinnamon and salt. Add the pecans and toss. Transfer to a sieve and shake off the excess coating.
  3. 3. Arrange the pecans on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the sugar carmelizes and the nuts are golden. Let cool and package in decorated mason or jam jars.


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