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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- 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. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, cover the pecans with water. Transfer to a sieve and shake out water.
- 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. 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.