Tag Archives: spiced pecans

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

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  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.
http://40shadesofflavor.com/spiced-pecans/

 

Spinach and Candied Bacon Salad

Spinach and Candied Bacon Salad

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 17 minutes

Yield: Serves 4

Spinach and Candied Bacon Salad

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of spinach, washed and trimmed
  • 6 slices of thick cut bacon, trimmed of excess fat and diced
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup of whole, unsalted pecans
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 tsp.cayenne
  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 4 oz. of blue cheese, crumbled
  • Dressing:
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp. cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Wash and dry the spinach. Trim stems.
  2. Fry the bacon until crisp and drain off most of the fat. Return the pan to the heat, add the maple syrup and brown sugar. Stir to coat the bacon. Remove from the pan and let cool on parchment paper.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover pecans with water for one minute. Drain using a sieve and shake off excess water. Whisk together the confectioners' sugar, cayenne and kosher salt. Add the pecans. Stir to coat nuts evenly. Place nuts in a sieve and shake off excess sugar. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the sugared nuts on the pan. They tend to clump, so separate them. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, turning nuts over half way through baking. Remove from the oven when they are golden brown. Let cool.
  4. Combine spinach, bacon, nuts and cheese in a large bowl. Whisk together the dressing. Add to salad bowl and toss.

Notes

The spiced pecans are delicious by themselves as a snack. You will have enough of the sugar mixture to coat a cup of pecans, so I advise making a cup of the spiced nuts. Trust me, you won't regret it. I sometimes substitute ground cinnamon for the cayenne.

http://40shadesofflavor.com/spinach-candied-bacon-salad/

In a twitter chat earlier this week I mentioned that one of my favorite toppings for salad greens is candied bacon.  I immediately received a flurry of requests for the recipe.   It is as delicious as it sounds and ridiculously easy to make.   I also include spiced pecans and blue cheese in this salad.   In the autumn, I add slices of crisp, tart apple from the farmers’ market.

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