Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sweet Nutty Treats

Recently, I posted about shelling pecans — and have1222 roasted pecans (1) shelled a LOT of pecans. Gift bags have been made up for family and friends the past couple of weeks. While shelling takes time,  entertainment has been provided by activity at the bird feeders visible from our kitchen windows. There’s been a lot of colorful drop-in visitors, especially cardinals and friends. Maybe it has something to do with those shelled pecans added to the feeder?

Dec birds collage1There’s a LOT of unshelled pecans left to do, courtesy of our neighbor’s tree and another friend’s two trees. The pecans are offered gratis, self-harvesting is all that’s required. Pecans are recognized as a Southern treat, and at nearly $10/lb. are a costly one as well. After Christmas, I’ll go back to pecan shelling and freeze them for use in any recipe that uses nuts (and even some that don’t). FREE is a very good wonderful thing and a real money saver!

Pecans are a treat anytime, especially sweet roasted at holiday time. Here’s my version, adapted from several recipes. 

Cinnamon Roasted Pecans

An online version of this recipe used 2 cups of only white sugar, I reduced the amount to 1 cup, split between white and brown sugars. Also, if using less than 2 lbs. of pecans, just half the ingredients.

  • 2 lbs pecan halves
  • 1/2 C white sugar
  • 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • dash of ground cloves
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 TBSP water

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Lightly grease rimmed baking sheet.

  1. Blend sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves in bowl.1222 roasted pecans (4)
  2. Whip egg whites, water, vanilla in large bowl until fluffy.
  3. Fold pecans into egg mixture and toss gently to coat.
  4. Slowly add in sugar mix, toss with robber spatula to coat.
  5. Spread pecans evenly on sheet. Place in middle of oven and bake for 15 minutes, then stir pecans with spatula. Stir every 15 minutes until pecans are no longer wet – about 1 hour.
  6. Cool and then store in airtight container. (IF you can refrain from sampling them.)

1222 roasted pecans (8)According to Grenville, the official Frog & PenguINN taste-tester, this recipe is definitely “a keeper.”

Now, we have to make sure that friends coming for Christmas Eve / Christmas Day dinner get to enjoy some since they are so very addictively good.

For those, who prefer toasting pecans without sugar, here’s another variation, which is even easier.

Easy Roasted Pecan Halves

  • 1 lb pecan halves
  • 4 TBSP salted butter
  • 1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

  1. Place pecans on cookie sheet and spread evenly.
  2. Break pieces of butter into small pieces and scatter on pecan halves. Sprinkle salt on pecans.
  3. Bake 10 minutes. Stir gently, turn pieces as stirring. Cook another 10 minutes; make sure pecans do not over-brown.
  4. Remove and cool before storing.


Doris said...

You are blessed... You get them at the best price ever!! I buy so few pecans because of the high cost. But, do I ever love them! Your recipes sound good too .
Merry Christmas!

Daisy said...

Both recipes sound good. What a treat! Pecans are one of my favorite kinds of nuts.

Anonymous said...

Pecans really are delicious :-) Can't grow up here though and we mostly have them in ice cream :-)

I wish You all a Good Yule!


DeniseinVA said...

I love Pecans, thanks for the recipe. Merry Christmas and A Very Happy New Year!

Sandra said...

nothing better than these pecans like this. i love them. mother and my aunt used to make them like this and also make a batch with salt on them, not sure what else they did, but some were sweet and some were salty and it involved baking in the oven... we had 3 pecan trees and you are right, free is great. daddy would be shocked at the price of them now.

Out on the prairie said...

My grandfather used to make a special cracker to get more halves. A favorite nut for me

Pat transplanted to MN said...

I admire you shelling any thing let alone pecans...I close my eyes, wince and pay the $$ for a 2lb bag of shelled at Sam's and keep them in the freezer to use hrough the year. Love them in salads too. Merry Christmas to you

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