What you'll need
- 2 cups pecan halves
- SPICE MIX:
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or less to taste)
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon canola or corn oil
How to make it
- Heat the oven (or toaster oven) to 350°. Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and toast them for 6 minutes or until they are fragrant and their color deepens slightly.
- In a medium-size bowl, stir together the spice mix.
- In a saucepan, combine the glaze ingredients and bring them to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Stir in the toasted nuts and continue to stir until all the nuts are shiny and the liquid is gone, about 1 to 2 minutes. Move the glazed nuts to a mixing bowl, sprinkle on the spice mix, and toss them well to coat. Spread the coated nuts on a cookie sheet and return them to the oven for another 4 minutes; check regularly to make sure they don't burn. Remove and let cool. Makes 2 cups.
- WRAPPING IT UP: We placed our pecans in a ceramic bowl that we then wrapped in clear cellophane (the sturdy material used to cover fruit baskets; we bought ours at a craft store). We used a 20-inch-wide sheet about a yard long. Place the bowl in the center, bring the corners up to the top, and tie the bundle with a wire-edge craft ribbon. To make tying the bow easier, first secure the corners with a twist tie. Trim the excess cellophane at the top with scissors. Other packaging options: decorative tins and lined cardboard boxes. Avoid placing the nuts in plastic bags, as the coating rubs off.